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January 4, 2019

Media role in creating awareness about malnutrition urged


January 4, 2019

Islamabad : Speakers on Thursday urged media to play its effective role in creating awareness in public on prevailing epidemic of malnutrition in the country.

Addressing the participants of media sensitisation session here, speakers said media’s role is important as nutritional deficiencies remained a devastating problem affecting infants, young children, adolescent and women.

Member Food Security and Climate Change in the Planning Commission Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan said media can play its role in improving the nutrition situation in Pakistan and creating awareness in general public about the matter.

He said there is a need to inform people about detrimental consequences of nutrition deficiencies not only on child survival, growth and development, but its impact on brain development, academic achievements besides reducing overall adult productivity impending social and economic development.

He said the government was committed to developing sustainable solutions and implementing meaningful reforms. “Only with collective resilience, we will be able to launch nutrition as a key development agenda and improve nutrition status in Pakistan for the benefit of all people.

“He said a series of media training will be started to educate media persons on effects of nutrition deficiencies on individual and on society as whole besides spreading information about the malnutrition through media persons in the society.”

He said it is also crucial to recognize the important role of development partners in this agenda primarily as they are working with each province and are in a unique position to propose paths and means for collaboration, cost saving and outcomes. Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Dr Shafiq Ur Rehman said mothers in Pakistan are anaemic and children are found with iron deficiency anaemia.

“This is prime time to invest more resources to support, prevent and treat malnutrition. “He said theoretical and empirical works depict how the cost of malnutrition, inevitably hurts economic growth of a country.”

He added high prevalence of maternal and child malnutrition is witnessed as almost half of the women are anaemic while one third of the children are underweight in Punjab.

He expressed the hope that the sensitization session with media will facilitate the key stakeholders in planning of awareness strategies besides identifying specific directions to address missing areas for improving nutrition situation.

He added the tangible steps taken by the federal and provincial governments would bring fruit with effective collaborative approach. MPA Sabrina Javed said it is the time that we work together to take the policy and legislation for effective implementation to address the issue of malnutrition.

She added malnutrition is an issue that is beyond party affiliations and we are united in the efforts to end malnutrition in Pakistan that is threatening country’s social and economic development. She emphasised that nutrition has always been a neglected area however it is quite exemplary that the Prime Minister addressed the issue of malnutrition in his very first speech, which shows that the nutrition is in the priority list of the current government.

Highlighting the role of mass media in improving nutrition situation in the country, representative from media Yawar Abbas said that effective media strategy is a must to educate people about nutrition deficiencies in women and children.

He added formulation of communication strategies with the support of media persons based on information on nutrition situation will help creating awareness in society about malnutrition.

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