Nearly 47pc children stunted in Balochistan: Nutrition Directorate

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Nearly 47pc children stunted in Balochistan: Nutrition Cell

Manan Khan, Health Desk :

In Balochistan, nearly 47 percent of children are stunted with heights much less than normal for their age. Dr. Amin Mandokhail, the head of the Balochistan nutrition directorate revealed that most of the stunted children belong to poor and marginalized families of the province.

The federal and provincial governments have launched Rs. 9bs project to ensure the provision of better food and address the issue of malnutrition in Balochistan. The nutrition cell has launched its project for the malnourished children in 19 districts of the province, Noor ul Haq Baloch, the Secretary Health Balochistan informed.

Malnutrition is also rampant among women of reproductive age 

Malnutrition is not only confined to children but is also rampant among women of reproductive age suffering from anemia, usually related to iron deficiency as well as wasting among poorer communities that are food insecure. “Our main focus is on the health of pregnant women”, Mr. Baloch mentioned.

“There is a genetic transformation of malnutrition and it transfers within families”, Mr. Mandokhail added. In Pakistan in general and Balochistan in particular, malnutrition is widespread among all ages, and progress to address social determinants over the last several decades had been very slow. Notable differences can be found between the nutritional indicators of urban and rural populations; children among the rural and urban poor are at the greatest risk.

Water and hygiene also the main reasons behind malnutrition 

The reason behind malnutrition is not only food rather water and hygiene as well. In Balochistan, a drought-hit-like situation has also complicated things and severely affected the agriculture and livestock sectors.

“We are again faced with a drought-hit-like situation”, Mr. Mandokhail stated.

He however said it is a good sign that 61 percent of mothers are giving breast-feeding to their children for six months. This is better than the rest of the country, he said.

Apart from this, the main reason behind malnutrition and stunting issues is the non-availability of clean water. Still, in many parts of Balochistan, human beings and animals drink water from one place. “This is disastrous for the health”, he said.

Nearly 47pc children stunted in Balochistan: Nutrition Cell

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