LAHORE : Punjab Minister for Primary & Secondary Healthcare (P&SH) Khawaja Imran Nazir has said the provincial government is committed towards drastically lowering the malnutrition indicators in the province.
He was addressing a seminar organized by Punjab Planning & Development Department, Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Cell and titled ‘Nutrition National Perspective: Role of Provinces’ here on Wednesday. The Punjab government hosted an event in order to reiterate the government’s commitment towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition in collaboration with all the provinces.
Khawaja Imran Nazir said that the Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department has the right strategies and programs currently underway to approach the problem of malnutrition in all 36 districts of the province with efforts being directed towards service delivery and behavior change communication to ensure that the problem of malnutrition is dealt with a forceful hand.
The Minister P&SH said that the department has been prioritizing the challenge of malnutrition in southern Punjab that depicted the highest malnutrition rates in the province through the inclusion of a new programme focused on southern Punjab. The P&D Department, along with the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Centre, in his view, was making a commendable effort in gathering all key stakeholders, in an attempt to share lessons that have been learnt thus far for the purpose of devising a pragmatic way forward.
While inaugurating the session, Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan Chairman Planning and Development Board GoP stressed that it was imperative for Pakistan to ensure that there was improvement in mother and child nutrition. The burden of the endemic on Pakistan’s economy was enormous with Pakistan losing US$ 7.6 billion or 3% of its GDP as a result of malnutrition. Chairman P&D stated that for Punjab the most agrarian, literate and economic province of Pakistan, the responsibility to fight this endemic was even greater. “We must lead the call against malnutrition and hunger, for it was not only about establishing food security, but about enhancing future economic growth and sustainable development of the province and ultimately our country. Economic Growth was just one benefit of an improved nutritional standing of the province-attendance at schools, increased literacy, increased employment and increased standard of living – were all drivers that should motivate us to work together for Nutrition.
Orignally published by INP