Fighting for our children

Past endeavours have shown, good intentions alone are not enough to effect real change

May 20, 2024


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has unveiled an ambitious plan to combat child stunting nationwide. This initiative highlights a longstanding issue that has cast a shadow over the nation’s progress in child health, signaling a determined effort to break free from the shackles of malnutrition and systemic neglect.

Child stunting, a silent scourge that robs children of their potential, has persisted in Pakistan despite numerous attempts to address it. The PM’s plan injects fresh hope into this battle, promising a renewed focus on the well-being of the country’s youngest citizens. However, as past endeavours have shown, good intentions alone are not enough to effect real change. The success of the plan hinges on its ability to navigate a labyrinth of challenges, from bureaucratic hurdles to ingrained corruption. One of the key stumbling blocks has been the issue of implementation. Too often, well-conceived policies have languished on paper, failing to translate into tangible improvements on the ground. We must break free from this cycle of inertia, with a clear roadmap for action and robust mechanisms for accountability. Moreover, the plan must address the chronic shortage of skilled professionals in Pakistan’s healthcare system. Without a cadre of dedicated experts to drive forward its vision, the plan risks being little more than a hollow promise.

Yet perhaps the greatest obstacle to success lies in the shadow of corruption. Pakistan’s history is littered with examples of well-intentioned initiatives derailed by graft and malfeasance. Introducing stringent measures to root out corruption and ensuring that every rupee is spent where it is needed most will eventually drive the initiative to a success. In charting a course forward, absolute sincerity and unwavering commitment will be the defining traits that can help turn the tide and secure a brighter future for our children.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2024.

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