Facebook can help fight malnutrition: Sania Nishtar

‘Hackathon on Malnutrition’ launched at the National Incubation Centre in Islamabad

APP December 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to PM on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar on Saturday said Facebook could be a powerful tool in overcoming the challenge of malnutrition.

“Digital marketing tools on social media are essential to fight malnutrition in the 21st century,” she said while addressing the launching ceremony of the digital campaign, ‘Hackathon on Malnutrition’.

“Facebook is a powerful tool to deliver the message across the board on stunting, obesity and chronic diseases which are closely interlinked.

"We are not paying a single penny to Facebook for such digital campaigns. It is the beginning of a long journey,” she added

The PM’s aide said millions of children in Pakistan are suffering from health complications because malnutrition and that is why it is among the top priority areas of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme.

The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, in partnership with Facebook and Invest2Innovate, has launched the first-of-its-kind design ‘Hackathon on Malnutrition’ at the National Incubation Centre in Islamabad.

Over the course of two-days, the Hackathon will connect experts in malnutrition with digital marketers who, with additional support from Facebook, will help build innovative digital campaigns for social media around the challenges of malnutrition.

This is the first in a series of Ehsaas-Facebook collaborative initiatives. During the Hackathon, 10 teams will work to develop possible campaign solutions and designs that can be developed further and implemented as the Ehsaas programme's official content on Facebook.

Throughout the Hackathon, the participants will benefit from industry-expert mentors providing guidance in a range of necessary skills, including in pitching, budgeting and impact assessment.

On the final day, three teams will be selected to present their ideas to a high-level panel of leadership from the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, along with representatives from the World Bank.

The winning team will receive advertisement credits and additional support from Facebook to launch their malnutrition focused digital marketing campaign on the leading social media platform.

The Hackathon will serve as a critical platform for leading digital marketers to engage directly with Ehsaas officials in order to assist the program in developing additional innovative solutions to address the malnutrition challenge.

Child rights

Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari has said the government is committed to protecting the rights of children and providing them access to development opportunities without any discrimination.

“The incumbent government is fully aware of its responsibilities and it is need of the hour to work jointly for the child rights law awareness and to change social attitudes with the collaboration of all stakeholders,” she told the state-run PTV.

The minister said awareness campaigns had been launched across the country especially in rural areas, through advertisement, electronic, print and social media for the protection of human rights.

"It is very important that we work collectively to raise awareness amongst communities, especially the vulnerable and those devoid of technology or infrastructure, so that they have the confidence to report cases of child abuse,” she added.


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