45% children in Pakistan under fed, says report

Published: August 28, 2016
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Given their relative higher populations, there are 3.1 million and 1.9 million out-of-school children in Punjab and Sindh respectively, followed by Balochistan at 0.56 million and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at 0.48 million.  PHOTO: FILE

Given their relative higher populations, there are 3.1 million and 1.9 million out-of-school children in Punjab and Sindh respectively, followed by Balochistan at 0.56 million and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at 0.48 million. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan ranks low on the social development index of child and maternal health, which reflects the level of nutrition, education and access to health services.

Although infant and neonatal mortality rates have considerably decreased worldwide over the last two decades, the situation has not improved in the country. One in every 14 Pakistani children dies before reaching the age of one, and one in 11 does not survive to its fifth birthday, states a report compiled by the office of the federal ombudsman in collaboration with the Unicef.

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Health and nutrition

Childhood poverty is directly linked to malnutrition, where parents fail to provide adequate healthcare and nutrition to their children.

A considerable number of children and mothers have no or limited access to health and education services.  According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13, around 45% of children show evidence of chronic malnutrition or stunting and 11% are acutely malnourished requiring urgent treatment.

“Stunting slows down mental and physical growth,” Dr Irshad Danish, National Programme Coordinator for Scaling Nutrition-Civil Society Alliance told The Express Tribune.

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Quoting the figure of 45% malnutrition in the country, he said, “This means our future generation will not only be mentally and physically stunted, but will also be unskilled and lag behind the competing world.” He urged that the government improve the situation of malnutrition in the country, besides enforcing implementation on the existing legislation on breastfeeding.

Education

Pakistan is amongst the nine countries, which have the largest number of primary-age group out-of-school children.

Estimates for out-of-school children show that there are 6.7 million out-of-school children in the country, of which 55% are girls.

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Given their relative higher populations, there are 3.1 million and 1.9 million out-of-school children in Punjab and Sindh respectively, followed by Balochistan at 0.56 million and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at 0.48 million.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Mr Obvious
    Aug 28, 2016 - 9:55AM

    N Korea and Pakistan are one of the few countries left on the planet where chronic food shortages have resulted in the population actually shrinking in size (shorter). The other thing they have in common are nukes and close relationship with China. Recommend

  • Senman
    Aug 28, 2016 - 9:58AM

    Now Pakistanis will search for the percentage of underfed Indian children to feel good about themselves. It is 29.4% for your reference. Pakistan should concentrate more on its children then on India’s internal matter.Recommend

  • raw is war
    Aug 28, 2016 - 12:46PM

    How can 45% people be malnourished if Pakistan has just 12% poor people? Somebody fooling the world with their figures?Recommend

  • Amit
    Aug 28, 2016 - 1:28PM

    Rather than feeding, vaccinating and educating their children Pakistan wants Kashmir so that they can make Kashmir a next BalochistanRecommend

  • Mohammed
    Aug 28, 2016 - 4:46PM

    Who cares, as long as the kids of NS are well fed, it doesn’t matter. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 28, 2016 - 8:53PM

    And a high percentage of the remaining 55% are malfed, meaning their diet consists basically of either Western or local junk food. Yes, local junk food being a preponderance of burgers, kababs and daal, with veggies and salad as an afterthought if any at all.Recommend

  • Jay
    Aug 29, 2016 - 3:37AM

    @Mohammed:
    Have you seen them, They are certainly well fed- one of them seems to have brought his own McDonalds franchise. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 29, 2016 - 5:23AM

    @Jay:
    You mean the one that looks like a walking BigMac ? Many rich and affluent local kids look like that; that’s supposed to represent: “healthy” !?Recommend

  • Naim Khan
    Aug 29, 2016 - 9:50PM

    If that is the case, I would blame Sharif family they been in the government for 35 years. Recommend

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