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August 8, 2019

Focus on addressing malnutrition issue: Yasmin


August 8, 2019

LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said that reducing malnutrition saves lives, reduces illness, enables children to learn and helps individuals and countries escape from poverty and maximise their potential.

Addressing a ceremony of Provincial Dissemination of National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2018-19 jointly organised by the Punjab Planning and Development Board & UNICEF Pakistan here at a hotel, she said that malnutrition was top priority agenda of the current government and the relevant ministries and departments had been endlessly engaged in efforts to address the issue of malnutrition.

Punjab Planning and Development Board Chairman Habib-ur-Rahman Gilani informed that the Sustainable Development Goal 2 - ‘Zero Hunger’ specifically would address the need to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It can only be achieved if no child, woman or man is left behind - regardless of how difficult and challenging the circumstances, he added.

Eric Alain, Chief Nutrition, UNICEF Pakistan, said that the UNICEF along with its UN partners was committed to support and would continue working with the Sindh government in its efforts to reduce prevalence of all forms of malnutrition among vulnerable groups in the province. The event was hosted in order to highlight the key findings of NNS 2018-19, to highlight the prevailing situation of malnutrition in the province of Punjab, to initiate dialogue with regards to provincial policy development around malnutrition and to reiterate the Punjab government’s commitment towards making nutrition a priority.

NNS 2018-2019 is the largest ever nutrition survey in the history of Pakistan, inclusive of provincial and district level data.

The survey provides robust evidence for programming to scale up nutrition sensitive and nutrition specific interventions with a high level of development and progress. NNS 2018-19 was conducted by the Aga Khan University in collaboration with Ministry of Health Services Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) Government of Pakistan, along with the support of UNICEF Pakistan and Department for International Development (DFID).

The survey assesses the nutrition status of 40,452 households across Punjab. Children under-five, adolescent girls and women of child bearing age were the primary focus while collecting the data on nutrition indicators, along with data on access to water and its quality, hygiene and sanitation, food security and disability among children.

In Punjab, nearly four in 10 under five children are stunted according to the new survey. The survey results are key to shaping the nutrition and healthcare policy landscape of the province of Punjab.

Meanwhile, a meeting chaired by Dr Yasmin Rashid reviewed the steps taken to control dengue. The health minister analysed the anti-dengue campaign. She said increase in dengue cases was a serious issue even after expending a lot of resources. She said all departments concerned would have to take steps for dengue eradication.

She said all data of dengue cases and medicines would be analysed. She said all dengue patients were given free-of-cost medicines and medical treatment in all government hospitals of Punjab.

Tobacco awareness session: Tobacco kills millions of people each year globally whereas premature deaths of users deprive the families of income, augment the cost of healthcare and create hindrance in development, said the speakers at an awareness training session organised by Tobacco Control Cell under Ministry of National Health Services Regulation & Coordination in LTC headquarters here on Wednesday.

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