Health experts at a seminar here on Tuesday stressed the need for scaling up awareness regarding the causes and harmful effects of malnourishment to safeguard women and children from host of preventable ailments.
The speakers said that ninety percent of the lives of mothers and children could be saved if the issue of undernourishment is overcome and urged the government to induct educational courses on the subject.
“Out of 500,000 maternal deaths in Pakistan, 175,000 mothers and children die due to malnourishment but 90 percent lives could be saved if the mothers are properly fed,” the speakers noted.
Former provincial minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhail, former speaker Balochistan Assemly Jamal Shah Kakar, Director Nutrition Naqeebullah Niyazi, Chief Nutrition Planning Muhammad Aslam, Dr Aftab Bhatti and other health officials expressed their views in the session conducted by Planning & Development department and Scanning up Nutrition (SUN).
The experts laid emphasis on the care of a child in its nascence and asked the parents to give utmost attention during this period.
“First 1000 days for a new born are very important as this duration plays a vital role in baby’s growth and nourishment. Parents should be very careful during this time and must give their babies the healthiest of diets.”
They lamented that Balochistan had the highest number of fatalities due to malnourishment.
“Unfortunately majority of mothers and children in our province are malnourished and death ratio is far high as compared to other provinces. Our children suffer from stunted growth due to lack of proper diet” they said.
The speakers noted that Balochistan government had declared health emergency in the province last year while nutrition centers with the help of SUN had been established to control malnourishment.
The experts stressed upon the provincial government to induct educational courses on malnourishment in the syllabus so that the future generation are aware of its effects and causes.