Commitment from media is critical for mobilizing and garnering affirmative action to defeat malnutrition menace in Pakistan. This was discussed in a meeting organized by Scaling Up Civil Society Alliance Pakistan (SUNCSA, Pak) in collaboration with Nutrition International and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), member and Chair of the SUNCSA Executive Council.
The participants from media pledged to actively play their role for prioritizing nutrition agenda at the policy and programme levels in Balochistan as well as raise public awareness on the adverse effect of malnutrition to bring about behavior change.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ali Nasir Bugti; Provincial Coordinator and Head of Nutrition Cell; Government of Balochistan highlighted the initiatives taken by provincial government to address the malnutrition situation in the province on priority basis.
He shared with the audience various initiatives taken by the nutrition cell to address the issue in various districts of Balochistan He said, ‘Lack of human resource is one of the biggest hurdles in reaching out to local communities suffering from malnourishment.
The issue of malnutrition cannot be tackled individually; concerted efforts are required from all stakeholders including the government, civil society, private sectors and media for improving the situation of malnutrition in Balochistan’. He elaborated the role of the Balochistan Nutrition Program for Mothers and Children and the support extended by the donor agencies, in this context he gave reference of different strategies that have been developed at the provincial level.
He said more than half of children under five in Balochistan are stunted which means that they are short for their age due to chronic malnutrition, a condition that has lifelong consequences on physical and mental development.