Quetta: Nutrition and the micronutrient deficiencies among the masses and its impact on the health and GDP are a serious concern for the political leadership and a high priority agenda for Balochistan government.
This was stated by Dr. Hamid Khan Achakzai Minister for Planning and Development Department (P&D), on Wednesday.
He was speaking in an advocacy seminar organized jointly by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), National fortification Alliance (NFA) and provincial nutrition cell Balochistan.
Dr. Hamid Khan Achakzai mandates his ministry to make serious efforts under Scaling Up Nutrition unit (SUN) at P&D with the support of development partners to address the issue of malnutrition. Dr. Achakzai particularly emphasized the engagement with the private sector including flour millers, oil millers and the chamber.
Abdul Qahaar Wadaan, Member of the Standing Committee on health in National Assembly of Pakistan, present at the event, highlighted that nutrition is a high priority at the national level and it’s a part of Vision 2025.
Mr. Nasurallah Zeray Member of Provincial Assembly said that malnutrition is a serious issue of Pakistan and the neighboring Afghanistan. He stressed on the fact that the Pakistani private sector has a dual responsibility to supply food to local populous as well the neighboring Afghans.
Dr. Baseer Khan Achakzai, Director National Fortification Alliance Pakistan said it is very encouraging that the parliamentarians of Balochistan are aware of the issue of malnutrition and support the food fortification in the province.
Mr. Sajjad Imran, Country Director GAIN Pakistan presented the regional food fortification project which is focused on production and distribution of Fortified Wheat Flour and Edible Oil Ghee to Afghanistan. Hence working with the private sector in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are focused provinces for food fortification.
Dr Ali Nasir Bugti, Project Director of Nutrition Cell, said that the indicators of malnutrition in the province also present very horrific picture. A survey was conducted by Health Department Government of Pakistan and Aga Khan University on mother child health. According to this survey 16 percent children are faced with serious nutrition problem while 40 percent children fall in low weight category while 52 percent children are smaller in size as compared to their age.
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