Unified action

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Alarming statistics on childhood malnutrition in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh province, have brought to light a pressing concern that demands immediate attention. With four out of ten children in the country facing stunting and over 17 percent dealing with wasting problems, the gravity of the situation underscores the need to address the burden of wasting, stunting and obesity among children.
According to a news report published on these pages, director general of Sindh Food Authority, Agha Fakhar Hussain, who delivered a keynote speech at a workshop on Global Action Plan on Children’s Wasting Framework in Islamabad, has advocated for a paradigm shift from vertical malnutrition programing to a more coordinated approach in managing the growth challenges faced by children.
Hussain has emphasized the gravity of the situation, pointing out a disturbing double burden of malnutrition with nearly one in three children underweight (28.9%) and a high prevalence of overweight (9.5%) in the same age group.
In response to these challenges, Hussain has rightly outlined ongoing efforts, including fortification programs for essential items like flour, oil and salt. Initiatives like the calories count program and awareness programs targeting school-going children are also underway. The collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Nutrition & National Fortification Alliance, UNICEF Pakistan, and others reflects a concerted effort to comprehensively address this critical issue.
The recent workshop serves as a vital platform for experts to share insights, strategies and collaborative measures in tackling the multifaceted challenge of childhood malnutrition in Pakistan. The emphasis on a unified approach, as highlighted by the various stakeholders, is crucial for the well-being of the nation’s children. It is evident that only through coordinated efforts can Pakistan hope to overcome the complex issues of wasting, stunting and obesity, ensuring a healthier future for the younger generation.