Well-being of our children really matter to us? | By Dr Faiza Abdur Rab


Well-being of our children really matter to us?

IN the UK, one day while walking to the University, I found people outside a supermarket protesting against the sale of unhealthy food for children.

They were being led by a woman scientist, who used to buy fresh branded milk from the supermarket for her children.

On having doubt on quality of milk, she sent its sample to a Lab to test its quality and safety.

It was revealed that the branded milk being sold in the supermarket used to be drawn from cattle fed on Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) traces of which were found in the fresh milk.

The company owning the brand of fresh milk being sold was sued. It was resolved that whole stock of the milk would be discarded, its consumers in case of having any health issue that could be related to consumption of GMO would get complete medical coverage by the company owing the brand throughout their life.

A huge amount of fine was charged and the product was discontinued until obtaining the clearance from concerned authorities.

We, as a nation, lack the needed concern towards our children mainly because most of the marriages over here are arranged for the sake of financial support and-or social security without having heartfelt willingness of bride and groom hence the couples are not prepared to give needed love to their kids and own their responsibilities, both at individual level as well as collectively as a nation.

Our children’s commercially processed food particularly snacks contain unsafe synthetic chemical ingredients which, on regular consumption can cause incurable health problems including cancer allergies, depression, short memory, loss of focus and concentration etc.

Most of the mothers including the educated ones mainly give commercial food products to their children instead of home prepared nourishing food items from raw food.

This important aspect driving the rising health issues among children and adults is also overlooked by many health experts and practitioners.

There are health safety and religious concerns about Covid-19 virus vaccine. The vaccines available for immunization against Covid-19 virus infection confer partial protection for a short span of time e.g. a few months.

These days, Covid-19 infection driven illness cases being reported are negligible in Pakistan with occasional incidences of death.

Under this situation vaccination for Covid-19 virus infection in adults, particularly when there are health and religious concerns, partial protection occur on its vaccination and there are occasional incidences of Covid-19 infection driven illness with negligible fatality rate being reported daily, is a controversial matter which requires extensive debate while keeping in view the safety of individuals and health concerns as prime objectives leaving behind the individual’s research interests and perks associated for the support.

In childhood, very rapid as well as crucial growth and development take place whereas immune system (defence system) of the body is fragile and is not mature enough to combat the bugs and to acquire long term resistance while repairing the damages which are caused by invasion of any foreign body (non-self).

The Covid-19 virus illness rarely occurs in toddlers and children with having negligible fatality rate whereas the known risks associated with Covid-19 vaccines immunization in children hypothetically on logical grounds are very high and many are yet to be revealed.

It is a must that prior initiating immunization in toddlers and children against Covid-19 virus infection, there should be extensive discussion among independent experts having sound integrated understanding of Cell Biology Biochemistry Immunology Medical Sciences Chemistry Food Sciences Molecular Biology Biotechnology Microbiology etc.

In Pakistan, Covid-19 virus vaccination campaign has been started for children. Does the well-being of our children really matter to us.

—The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Food, Science & Technology, University of Karachi.


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