ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to formulate a comprehensive roadmap in consultation with the provinces to address the issue of stunting.
The prime Minister said this while chairing the first meeting of Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council on Monday.
The prime minister asked the Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan and Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar to prepare a roadmap based on time lines which will be presented to the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
PM Imran said that the federal government will continue to play its role to address the issue of stunted growth, adding that overcoming stunting is the top priority of the government. He also said that stunting not only affects children’s mental and physical abilities, but also deprives the society of benefiting from their constructive abilities.
The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Shafqat Mahmood, Dr Fehmida Mirza, Syed Fakhr Imam, Asad Umar, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistants Dr Sania Nishtar, Malik Amin Aslam and Dr Faisal, secretaries of relevant ministries and senior officials.
The provincial chief secretaries attended the meeting through video-link.
PM’s Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the meeting on effects of stunting on children with multiple causes including malnutrition in the past.
The meeting was informed that it is the responsibility of provincial governments to play a pivotal role in overcoming stunting. In this regard, the Ehsaas Development Dashboard has started working across the country where detailed data on stunting will be available.
The meeting was informed that planning was done in the past ten years to meet the nutrition requirements of women and children but it was never effectively implemented. The result is that at present, about 40 per cent of children are the victims of stunted growth. In Sindh, this percentage is 50 per cent.
The premier, in his maiden address to the nation after assuming his office, had highlighted his government’s priority to address the issue of stunting in view of its impact on the mental and physical development of children due to malnutrition and substandard food.