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January 30, 2015

Malnutrition claims 300,000 children every year: seminar

Lahore

 
January 30, 2015

LAHORE
“ONE in every 10 children dies before the age of five and over 300,000 children die every year due to malnutrition in Pakistan,” according to findings shared at a dissemination seminar titled “Evidence Generation and Advocacy for Institutionalisation of School Health Programme (SHP) in the Punjab province” organised by Nur Centre for Research and Policy (NCRP) at a local hotel for the establishment of a comprehensive and holistic School Health Programme in Punjab.
According to a press release issued on Thursday, the dissemination seminar acted as a forum to review and share the research findings and challenges confronting Pakistan in improving the health and nutritional status of the school going children. Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq chaired the seminar while Parliamentary Secretary for Health Punjab Khawaja Imran Nazir, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Punjab Ms. Joyce Rofin, and MPAs Mehwish Sultana, Dr. Muraad Rass, Rana Munawar, Hussain Ghos Khan and DG Health Punjab Dr. Zahida Pervaiz and others attended the seminar. Besides, representatives from private sector including NGOs/INGOs like UNICEF, UNCHR, WHO and corporate social representatives were also present.
Shahima Rehman, President, Nur Foundation, said “We are heading towards a health crisis that needs to be addressed now.
These children are our future and their health should be a priority. Health impacts education and without education, our country cannot get out of this vicious cycle of poverty and cannot increase its’ global competitiveness as well as promote human and economic development.” The health has been a low priority area in Pakistan and the country’s health indicators are among the lowest in the world. Negligence in schoolchildren’s health is leading to a reduction in their cognition and learning eventually and also leading to poor educational outcomes such as increased absenteeism and dropout.