PC-1 on nutrition to be fast tracked to achieve results: Dr Zafar Mirza

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Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Zafar Mirza has said that nutrition issue is extremely vital and Premier Imran Khan has emphasized over it in his inaugural speech.
The PM’s Advisor was chairing a high level inter-provincial meeting along with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan.
Dr Zafar Mirza said that the Prime Minister constituted an inter-ministerial committee under his chair to cope with this issue of malnutrition. Food is a complex subject, it has many dimensions and many stakeholders. The key word is “integration” to achieve results, he stated.
The PC-1 on Nutrition has been shared with all provincial stakeholders and we want to benefit from their expertise and wisdom to improve the situation of malnutrition in Pakistan, he added.
The SAPM said that we must engage in meaningful and effective exercise to resolve this issue. This meeting is convened to improve the PC-1 document before it is formally tabled in Planning Commission.
Dr. Zafar Mirza also stated that essential package of health services should be delivered at community level, at primary health care facility level, at first level tertiary level hospitals and at population level.
Dr. Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan Deputy Chairman Planning stated that nutrition from a planning perspective is not merely a health issue but a developmental and social issue; hence it is imperative that multiple sectors work in collaboration with one another. There is need to bring multiple stakeholders together.
He also emphasized that there should be integration of services. It is essential to have commitment from multiple sectors of government. The Planning Commission is aware of the huge challenge and opportunity this project provides, he said. The real challenge is in implementation and targeting the communities where malnutrition is more rampant. We must have an implementation mechanism which trickles down to the ground.
Dr. Jahanzeb said the PC-1 emphasizes on 12 best international practices which will be implemented through an effective Primary Health Care network, this is why Lady Health Workers (LHWs) and nutrition counselors have been included in the project. The project has sharing of cost between Federal and Provincial governments.
The meeting agreed to fast track approval of Nutrition PC-1 from relevant forum.—INP