Wednesday December 07, 2022

6 ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ Centres to be opened in Balochistan

By Our Correspondent
January 18, 2021

Islamabad : Sitting under the umbrella initiative of ‘Ehsaas’, six ‘Nashonuma’ Centres are opening in Kalat and Zhob districts of Balochistan in the first phase of ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ programme. The aim is to tackle stunting and improve the nutrition of poorest children through a combination of cash stipends, nutritional food, medical examination and training.

The above information was shared by the PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Sania Nishtar, who heads ‘Ehsaas’. The National Nutrition Survey 2018 found that 46.6% of children in Balochistan are currently impacted by stunting due to malnutrition, with significant consequences for their health and educational outcomes. To ensure that this form of malnutrition does not continue to compromise the human capital required to sustain the socioeconomic development, Ehsaas has rolled out ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ programme.

Across Pakistan, 48 ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ Centres in 13 districts are being opened at the district and tehsil level health facilities in the first phase of the programme. However, catering to the scattered population and wide geographical spread of Balochistan, ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ Centres are being opened at the Basic Health Unit level to ensure easy access. The centres are opening in collaboration with provincial government and the World Food Programme. To provide all ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ facilities under one roof, four centres have been established in Kalat at DHQ Kalat, DHQ Surab, BHU Iskalkoo and BHU Lakorian. In Zhob district, two centres will be operational next month. The programme will be expanded to other districts in the next phase.

‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ is a three-year programme that is fully funded by the government of Pakistan. The programme is pegged on improving nutrition and health in the first thousand days of life, that is the most critical period in early childhood development, starting at conception and finishing at age of two. Every quarter, conditional cash-transfers are being provided to the poorest pregnant and lactating women and those with children under two years old; Rs1,500 for a boy child and mother, and Rs2,000 for a girl child.

As stated by Ehsaas policy, beneficiaries will be identified through the ‘Ehsaas’ ecosystem and programme enrolments will be made through an android based ‘Ehsaas’ ‘Nashonuma’ application. The android application not just enables the electronic registrations but also tracks beneficiary women and children. ‘Nashonuma’ stipends are disbursed to mothers through biometrically enabled ‘Ehsaas’ payment system. Payments are conditional upon the consumption of specialized nutritious food, immunizations, and attendance in health awareness sessions.