PM Calls for Comprehensive Plan to Address Child Stunting in Pakistan

Fri May 17 2024
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has instructed relevant authorities to launch a nationwide programme, in collaboration with provincial governments, aimed at addressing the challenge of child stunting.

Chairing a meeting to discuss the issue of child stunting, he emphasized the need for a comprehensive plan to protect children from fatal diseases, promote population welfare, and address healthcare sector issues.

Child stunting, as defined by the World Health Organization, refers to children who are too short for their age due to chronic or recurrent malnutrition. It not only contributes to child mortality but also reflects inequalities in human development.

The prime minister underscored the importance of coordinated efforts between the federal and provincial governments to improve child growth and ensure a brighter future for the country. He stressed the necessity of a nationwide awareness campaign to combat stunting effectively.

Acknowledging the contributions of international experts, Shehbaz Sharif expressed gratitude for their participation in the meeting, during which statistics on children’s growth were presented by the World Bank.

Statistics revealed a significant proportion of Pakistani children suffering from stunted growth due to various factors such as inadequate healthcare, nutrition, contaminated water, poor sanitation, and limited awareness of child development. The meeting also highlighted the prevalence of diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis, and diabetes in Pakistan, proposing strategies to address these health challenges.

The prime minister directed relevant authorities to promptly devise a comprehensive plan to tackle these issues. Federal ministers, including Ahsan Iqbal and Ahad Khan Cheema, along with representatives from the World Bank, UNICEF, and the World Food Program, attended the meeting, along with provincial chief secretaries and other experts joining via video link.

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