Malnutrition issue remains govt priority: Dr Yasmin

LAHORE:Provincial Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid on Wednesday said malnutrition remained a top priority of the present government and the relevant ministries and departments had been endlessly engaged in efforts to address the issue.

“Preventing and reducing malnutrition saves lives, reduces illness, enables children to learn and helps individuals and countries escape from poverty and maximize their potential”, she said while addressing a ceremony of Provincial Dissemination of National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2018-19 jointly organized by the Punjab Planning Development Board & UNICEF Pakistan at a local hotel here. Addressing the ceremony, Punjab Chairman Planning & Development Board Habib-ur-Rahman Gilani, said “Sustainable Development Goal 2 – `Zero Hunger’ specifically addresses the need to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It can only be achieved if no child, woman or man is left behind- regardless of how difficult and challenging the circumstances.” Chief Nutrition UNICEF Pakistan, Eric Alain said, UNICEF along with its UN partners was committed to support and continue working with the government in its efforts to reduce prevalence of all forms of malnutrition among vulnerable groups in the province.

NNS 2018-19 was conducted by the Agha Khan University in collaboration with Ministry of Health Services Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) government of Pakistan, along with the support of UNICEF Pakistan and Department for International Development (DFID). The survey assesses the nutrition status of 40,452 households across Punjab. Children under-five, adolescent girls and women of child bearing age were the primary focus while collecting the data on nutrition indicators, along with data on access to water and its quality, hygiene and sanitation, food security and disability among children. The event included participation of all key stakeholders, including Minister for Education Murad Raas, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Zahid Akhtar Zaman, Director Nutrition Dr. Baseer Khan Achakzai and Member Health Nutrition and Population Dr. Sohail Saqlain.