Launching Ceremony of NNS 2018.
Quetta 25 July 2019: Parliamentary secretary Ministry of Health Dr. Nausheen Hamid said that Federal government under the leadership of Prime minister Imran Khan is curious to deal with the alarming situation of malnutrition among children and women along with its associated factors. She was expressing these views while addressing to the dissemination of National Nutrition Survey 2018 Balochistan figures and Key findings. The event was conducted by Health Department Government of Balochistan Provincial Nutrition Directorate, UNICEF and Ministry of Health .
She said the figures disclosed will be very constructive for provinces to formulate policies and adoptive measures in this regard. She urged all development partners must expand their interventions to remote areas of the province on this critical problem until the federal government will not start proper national nutrition program. She also highlighted the maternal mortality rates of Balochistan that are very high also conducive actions are needed in this regard. She said District Health Officers in the districts must play their proactive role.
Talking to the participant’s provincial minister for health Mir Naseeb Ullah Marri urged federal government and other key stakeholder’s development partners to come forward to help provincial government improving the nutritional status also in attaining best possible outputs in the SDGs, he said the province social, economic and other indicators depicts a dismal picture, and health department government of Balochistan will play its part to deal with the situation but together we all can get best possible outputs.
Disclosing the provincial nutrition status and other details technical resource person of NNS – 2018 Prof. Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta said that this survey has been conducted by Ministry of National Health Services Regulation & Coordination, UNICEF and Aga Khan University, with funding support from Department for International Development (DFID).The provincial Department of Health Balochistan supported and monitored the implementation of data collection process in the respective provinces.
He said that the 2018 Pakistan National Nutrition Survey (NNS 2018), the largest national nutrition survey, in Pakistan. It is designed to provide to policymakers, programme managers and academicians a unique set of nutrition related data including environmental, anthropometric and biochemical indicators. Adding more he said, the study group included children, women of reproductive age (WRA) and adolescent boys and girls. He also added that Nutritional status of the children under five years of age from Baluchistan demonstrates that 46.6% children are stunted while 18.9% suffer from wasting. The double burden of malnutrition is becoming increasingly apparent, with almost 31% children being underweight alongside a high prevalence of overweight (16.7%) in the same age group. Adding more he said that trend analysis for malnutrition in Balochistan shows a steady and linear increase in the proportion of wasting in children; when the data from 2001 to 2018 is compared. However, the occurrence of stunting is almost same with a slight decrease between 2011 and 2018. On a similar note, the percentage of underweight increased from 2001 to 2011 and then decreased from 2011 to 2018.The overall prevalence of ferritin deficiency in children under five from Balochistan is 31.6%. Indicators for malnutrition for adolescent girls as indicated by NNS survey show that the overall prevalence of underweight was 12.2%; overweight was 13.6% and obesity was 9.1%. He said that findings from NNS survey show that among WRA, 14.5% were underweight, 22.1% were overweight and 12% were obese.
Other speakers of the event were Provincial Assembly member Mr. Sana Ullah Baloch, Director Nutrition Ministry of Health Dr. Baseer Khan Achakzai, Director General Health Services Dr. Shakir Ali Baloch and UNICEF field officer Ms. Reem Tarazi.
The event was attended by key development stakeholders, officials of Health Department and Ministry of Health, Provincial Nutrition Director Balochistan Dr. Amin Khan Mandokhail, Media, along with participants from other walk of lives participated.