Call for nutrition emergency in Balochistan

Updated May 01, 2017

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QUETTA: Balochistan Health Minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch has announced moving a resolution in the next session of the provincial assembly for imposing a nutrition emergency in the province as nutrition situation of mother and child is very serious in the province.

Speaking at a meeting of the Provincial Fortification Alliance here on Sunday, he said in view of the alarming malnutrition situation of mother and child, a special briefing would be arranged for members of the Balochistan Assembly.

Director General Health Masood Ahmed Nosher­wani, Director of the Provincial Mother and Child Nutrition Programme Dr Nasir Bugti and Dr Khawaja Masood also spoke on the occasion.

MPAs Dr Shama Ishaq, Yasmeen Lehri, Arifa Sid­­diq, Masooma Hayat, Samina Shakeel, William Barkat, Shazia Ahmed Langove, Farzana Raisani and Sabara Aslam attended the meeting.

Rehmat Saleh Baloch said that according to a survey, 16.2 per cent of children were victim of malnutrition, 52pc suffering from stunting and 40pc were under weight.

“There is no remedy for stunting,” he said, adding that the nutrition programme was badly affected in the province due to negligence and ignorance of previous governments.

The health minister said the programme was also affected as donors stopped funding. However, he said, the present government had taken serious notice of the situation and managed funds for the programme by approaching donor agencies.

He said the present government was working on the programme with complete political commitment and determination.

He assured the meeting that the provincial health department would extend all help and cooperation for the success of the programme.

Referring to hepatitis-B and C in the province, the minister said that earlier provision of medicine was very difficult, but now the health department was providing 100pc medicine to Hepatitis patients.

“Donors, who were re­­­­­luc­­tant to come to Balo­chis­­tan in the past, are now app­roach­­ing the government for funding different health-related program­mes,” the minister said.

Director General Health Masood Nosherwani said no programme could succeed without political will and urged the law­makers to extend all help and cooperation for the success of the nutrition programme.

Director of the Provincial Mother and Child Nutrition Programme Dr Nasir Bugti briefed the meeting on the programme and urged the lawmakers to monitor the programme and put compliant boxes in the district headquarters hospitals.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2017