KARACHI: The Sindh government’s solution to the malnutrition in Thar is to hold a ‘health and nutrition’ festival.
To create awareness about vaccinations, family planning and malnutrition, the government has decided to hold a three-day festival from April 8 to April 10, announced health minister Jam Mehtab Dahar at a press conference at his office on Monday.
The minister, who was flanked by his department secretary Iftikhar Ahmed Shallwani, said that Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah will inaugurate the festival in Mithi, the district headquarter of Tharparkar.
Various camps will be set up by government and non- governmental organisations. “Different NGOs and donors will also establish their health-related stalls to mobilise the people about health issues,” he said.
This event will be followed by a ‘polio-free Sindh’ campaign to speed up the routine immunisation drive against the virus. “The lack of awareness among the masses about diseases creates problems,” he said. “Therefore, we have decided to educate the people about the outbreak of different diseases and how to deal with them.”
Dahar explained that they will prioritise those areas that have been neglected by successive governments in the past. “We have done our homework, and each and every union council in the province will be covered,” he said.
Meanwhile, the health secretary refuted media reports on the frequent deaths of children due to starvation in Tharparkar. Such festivals will reduce issues, such as malnutrition and low mortality ratio of mothers and children, he hoped.
“We have invited renowned physicians, child specialists, gynaecologists and eye specialists to the event,” he said. “People will be able to get medical examinations done,” he added. The department will also start a series of lectures on health issues to create awareness among the residents.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2015.