The National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2018 results were formally announced at the provincial level by the Government of Sindh in an event here today. According to the survey, nearly five out of every ten children aged five years or under are stunted in the province, while two out of every ten suffer from wasting. The survey also reveals that over 40 per cent of under-5 children are underweight and more than 5 percent are overweight in Sindh.
The survey assessed the nutrition status of 18,768 households across the province. Children under-five, adolescent girls and women of child bearing age were the primary focus for data indicators related to nutrition, access to water and its quality, hygiene and sanitation, food security, and disability among children.
The NNS points out that adolescent girls and boys bear a double burden of malnutrition in Sindh with over 40 percent of adolescent girls in Sindh anaemic. The survey also reveals that over 10 per cent of children between the ages of two to five years suffer from some form of functional disability in the country.
Addressing the occasion, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Minister of Health, Government of Sindh, said, “This district specific data will allow us to plan and allocate resources based on evidence, with context specific and reliable information available for all indicators related to nutrition. This is an opportunity to utilize these findings to upgradethe national and the provincial nutrition action plan.”
Sharing her views on the occasion, Cristina Brugiolo, UNICEF Chief Field Office for Sindh, said, “UNICEF along with its UN partners is committed to support and will continue working with the Government of Sindh in its efforts to reduce prevalence of all forms of malnutrition among vulnerable groups in the province.”
Naheed Shah Durrani, Chairperson, Planning and Development Board, Government of Sindh, said, “We must explore the new global evidence-based interventions, replicate and scale up in our context. We need to sort out low-cost and high impact solutions which can be adopted to change the nutrition situation in the province.”
The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) led the survey, which was implemented by the Aga Khan University, funded by the United Kingdom (UK) government with technical support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The findings of the survey were shared by Dr. Professor Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Founding Director of Centre of Excellence in Women & Child Health, Aga Khan University. The event was attended by high ranking officials of the government, including secretaries of the provincial health ministries, Director General, MoNHSR&C and other officials of the federal health ministry. Civil society members, media persons, officials of the United Nations and other national and international organizations were also in attendance.