oa South African Medical Journal - The social aetiology of malignant malnutrition
It was found that in -44 (55 '>u ) of cases of malignant malnutrition, the aetiology was not due primarily to nutritional deficiencies, but to a complete disorganization of the parental factor in the family unit. consequent upon remote social and economic changes. beyond the control of the individual. Some ideas of the prevalence of this social pathology have been given in the second part of this paper. In the random group of 105 families, in 15 (14%) due to various factors, the family unit was disorganized, and the children left without proper parental care. The problem of disorganization was further aggravated by the high illegitimacy rate. No less than 12 out of 30 (40 % ) of the children of the first generation produced illegitimate offspring. In half the cases these children were not cared for by their mothers, who were away permanently at work.
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