Government launches action plan on nutrition

Karachi, June 11, 2019 (PPI-OT): The government is set to develop a National Action Plan on Nutrition to ensure a coordinated response to the challenges highlighted in the National Nutrition Survey 2018, a multi-partner research initiative involving AKU, UNICEF and the federal government.


The 2018 survey is the largest-ever study of nutrition, food security and diet-related health challenges. For the first time, the survey has collected data at the district rather than provincial level enabling targeted insights about areas requiring specific interventions.


“We now know more than any time before about the situation of nutrition in Pakistan,” said Dr Zafar Mirza, the minister of state for national health services, regulations and coordination. “All districts have been covered. The survey is multifactorial, it is very robust and the findings are very informative in terms of where the problems are and their detail.”


The findings of the survey span 115,000 households in villages, towns and cities across Pakistan and correspond with AKU’s efforts to help achieve global targets under the Sustainable Development Goals related to malnutrition, food security, gender equality as well as good health and wellbeing.


“There is no magic bullet for ending malnutrition in Pakistan. It requires progressive policy making and proper implementation,” says Professor Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University


This is the second such survey since the 2011 National Nutrition Survey, which found that over half of the country’s population was affected by malnutrition. The report was launched at an event in Islamabad attended by policymakers and senior officials from the World Health Organisation, UNICEF Pakistan, DFID Pakistan.


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