“The state of child nutrition in Pakistan is alarming,” Prof Shakila Zaman of Children’s Hospital said on Monday.
She was addressing a four-day training workshop on In-patient Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition with Medical Complications.
The four-day workshop was organised by the World Health Organisation to train the staff at the newly established stabilisation centre at the hospital. The centre has been set up to treat severe malnutrition.
Prof Zaman shared findings of the National Nutrition Survey 2011 that studied children under five years of age.
She said that 43.6 per cent of the children in Pakistan were stunted (underdeveloped), 15.1 per cent wasted (lacking energy), and 31.5 per cent underweight.
She further said that 32.7 per cent of the children suffered from an iron deficiency, 30.3 per cent from a vitamin-A and 40 per cent from a zinc deficiency.
“More shockingly, 62.5 per cent children are anaemic,” she said.
Prof Zaman said that the newly created stabilisation centre will help treat children and mothers with severe malnutrition.
The training was arranged jointly by the World Health Organisation, the United Nations International Children Education Fund and the Health Department.
The session was presided over by Children’s Hospital dean Faisal Tahir.
Dr Babar Alam, the WHO operations officer said that seven stabilisation centres were already functional in the Punjab, including two in Lahore. The new centre will start working from April 1.
Seven WHO facilitators trained 24 doctors and nurses on community mobilisation, supplementary feeding, out-patient’s therapeutic programme and functioning of the stabilisation centre’s essential components.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ