Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed on taking strict actions to address certain issues that are holding the nation back and it was truly refreshing to see a leader talk about issues as essential and as ignored as stunted growth in Pakistan.
The issue engulfs over 155 million in Pakistan. Angela Kearny, Country Representative of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 44 children in Pakistan face stunted growth. The reason what she describes to be is the use of powdered milk.
This is becoming a burden on the social and health care system of the country’’ – she said while speaking to Radio.
She stressed that women need to be educated about the significance of breastfeeding. Due to a rising trend of using milk powder in Pakistan, the children are fed on bottled milk. She said for nourished and proper growth, the mother needs to breastfeed her child for at least 6 months.
To understand how grave the challenge is, statistically, one out of every 15 children is suffering the curse. However, the problem isn’t merely health-related and extends beyond it.
Nutrition deficiencies result up to 3% GDP loss annually, adding up to as much as $10 billion. It is alarming that none of the previous governments paid a heed about the issue when it has been damaging the country on such a big magnitude.
The Country Director said that women need to be educated to know the significance of the issue themselves. Children suffering stunted growth are at fifteen times higher risk to die of pneumonia and eleven times higher risks of death by diarrhoea. She said to educate people on the subject, we need to involve religious scholar in the process as well.
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