Wednesday October 20, 2021

Half of women and kids termed micronutrient deficient

September 24, 2021

PESHAWAR: Speakers at training here disclosed that almost half of women and children in the country were micronutrient deficient and 58 per cent of households were food insecure.

“Almost half of women and children countrywide are micronutrient deficient and 58 per cent households are food insecure, which is an alarming situation and needs to be addressed on an urgent basis,” said Shahrukh Ali Khan, Director General of Food Safety & Halal Food Authority.

He was speaking at a one-day training organized by Nutrition International “Edible Oil Fortification Processes and Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

The training was part of the “Digitising Pakistan’s Vitamin A /oil Program to Drive Sustainability” project being implemented across the country.

The event was attended by more than 35 representatives of oil mills, provincial ministries, line departments and KP Food Safety & Halal Food Authority from Peshawar, Malakand, Nowshera, Haripur and Dera Ismail Khan districts.

The sessions discussed the importance of fortification, methods of fortification and best practices for quality assurance and quality control.

Muhammad Atif Khan - Minister of Food, Science & Technology and Information Technology Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said: “Good and balanced nutrition is essential for a child’s healthy growth and development. It contributes to a child’s capacity to learn, earn and be an effective contributor to the modern economy”.

He added that the KP had launched various interventions to combat all forms of malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies, food fortification is a key strategy to address micronutrient deficiencies.

The minister appreciated Nutrition International (NI) for taking the lead on food fortification and its collaboration with KP Food Safety and Halal Food Authority in implementing edible oil fortification interventions in the province.

Zameer Haider, National Programme Manager, Nutrition International, also highlighted the importance of food fortification and shared that fortification standards had been approved by the government and now NFA was working with the provincial governments for necessary regulation to create an enabling environment for food fortification.

He said under this project, the NI was providing technical support to millers and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Authority to improve technical and human resource capacity to undertake oil fortification as per mandated standards and quality control practices.