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- Sunday, March 11, 2012 - From Print Edition


THE Government of Pakistan is committed to improving its global health index and we are dedicated to ensure that Pakistan’s most vulnerable, especially women and children, get vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive, said Mr. Muhammad Ayub, Senior Chief, Planning and Development Division, Government of Pakistan.


He was addressing a workshop on regulatory monitoring of salt, oil and wheat flour fortification programmes in Pakistan organised with the assistance of The Micronutrient Initiative, World Bank and other development partners on Saturday.


He appreciated the participation of representatives from oil and ghee, salt and wheat flour industry from all provinces.


He said this workshop would help in improving communication and collaboration between private and public sectors with regards to implementation of quality fortification programmes.


Dr. Tausif Akhtar Janjua, Country Director, The Micronutrient Initiative, appreciated the Government of Pakistan for showing strong commitment to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies from the country.


He stressed that monitoring, quality control and regulatory enforcement were key to success of any fortification programme in a country and this workshop would help strengthen the existing regulatory system in Pakistan and give a way forward for enactment and enforcement of these regulations. Mr. Quentin Johnson, Consultant, World Bank, highlighted the importance of regulatory and monitoring framework of wheat flour, salt and oil fortification programmes.


The participants of the workshop were updated on global standards for fortified salt, edible oil/ghee and wheat flour and guidelines leading to these standards and regulations.


Mr. Luc Leviolette, Senior Nutrition Specialist, World Bank, shared the cost effectiveness of food fortifications programmes.


He shared that malnutrition was an important issue which needed to be addressed globally, as it had a serious impact leading to around five percent reduction in GDP.


Dr. Khawaja Masuood Ahmed, National Programme Manager, The Micronutrient Initiative, shared the current status and achievement of fortification programmes in the country.


He highlighted the gains in USI programme, especially after the revitalisation in 2005-6 with the support of the MI.


Mr. Carl Paulson, Head of Programmes from World Food Programmes in his remarks, assured that the WFP would continue to support the people of Pakistan for elimination of malnutrition in the country.


A large number of representatives from Wheat Flour, Salt and Oil/Ghee Industry; Provincial Health and Planning & Development Department; Planning and Development Division Islamabad, Development Sector Representatives including The Micronutrient Initiative, World Food Programme, Unicef and World Bank and media attended the workshop.