QUETTA: Maternal and child mortality rate remained high in Balochistan as compared to other provinces of the country.

This was revealed by Dr. Ali Nasir Bugti, Provincial Coordinator Nutrition Program Government of Balochistan at a press conference on Wednesday.

Dr. Bugti stated that a total of 785 mothers lose their lives during pregnancy in Balochistan out of 1 lakh as compared to 272 in the rest of the country.

According to National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2011 conducted by Aga Khan University, the nutrition problem in Balochistan appears to be alarming when compared to the rest of the country.

"We are in a state of emergency when it comes to malnutrition among women and children," Dr. Bugti lamented.

Director General Health, Dr. Naseer Baloch and other high ups of the health department were also present on the occasion.

The grim picture depicted by NNS 2011 indicates that the prevalence of chronic malnutrition is 52.2 per cent and maternal anemia is 47.3 per cent.

Dr. Bugti said that the ratio of child mortality was high in Balochistan elaborating that out of 1000, a total of 158 children died during birth as compared to 103 in other parts of Pakistan.

In view of alarming malnutrition and anemia among women and children, the Balochistan Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution protecting the nutrition of children on January 3rd this year.

"Most of the children in Balochistan are underweight and malnourished," said Provincial Health Minister Rehmat Baloch.

World Food Program in collaboration with provincial health department has already launched a nutrition program in nine districts of Balochistan.

"We are providing cooking oil, biscuits and other food items to malnourished children and women suffering from anemia," Dr. Bugti said.

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