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Malnutrition Takes Rising Toll Among Children of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Bulawayo City Council officials said 33 people, mostly children under the age of four, died of malnutrition-related illnesses in March alone, while deaths attributed to food deprivation reached some 110 in the first three months of 2006 in the city.

But observers of the chronic food shortages afflicting Zimbabwe say that the deaths in Zimbabwe's second largest city represent just the tip of the iceberg, as authorities in Bulawayo have been among the most outspoken in reporting such deaths.

The Web-based news source ZimOnline quoted Bulawayo Mayor Japhet Ndabeni as saying that the deaths show the real impact of the national economic crisis.

For perspective on the nutrition crisis, Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to Felix Mafa, director of Bulawayo’s Post-Independence Survival Trust.

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