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Malnutrition Affecting Mental Health Status of Children

KARACHI- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Sindh Health Department and Program for Improved Nutrition in Sindh, Nutrition Sensitive Component (PINS-2), led by Action Against Hunger (ACF), a global leader against malnutrition.

This signing ceremony was graced by Provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Additional Chief Secretary Health Dr Muhammad Usman Chachar and Country Director ACF Pakistan, Jennifer Ankrom Khan.

Additional Chief Secretary Health, Dr M.Usman Chachar mentioned that Malnutrition is a serious issue that makes children prone to various other diseases.

Poor diet and the body’s inability to absorb necessary nutrients has the potential to affect one’s mental status and physical growth.

PINS-2 in coordination with the Government of Sindh and Accelerated Action Plan (AAP) are working towards bringing a change within the behavior of our society, towards feeding their children.

Country Director of ACF in Pakistan, Jennifer Ankrom Khan appreciated the Department of Health and Government of Sindh for working in partnership with the civil society.

She maintained that malnutrition comes from a combination of issues like unavailability of clean water and fresh food, affecting children and women the most.

Supported by the European Union in Pakistan, the Program for Improved Nutrition in Sindh – Nutrition Specific Component (PINS-2) is a multi-year initiative that will support implementation of the Accelerated Action Plan (AAP) launched by the Government of Sindh in 2017.

PINS-2 aims to improve the nutritional status of 1.7 million children under five years of age, as well as pregnant and lactating women in 359 Union Councils of 10 districts in Sindh, including Thatta, Sujawal, Matiari, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allah Yar, Dadu, Jamshoro, Kambar Shahdadkot, Larkana and Shikarpur.

This program will provide 100% coverage to treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition by establishing 359 outpatients therapeutic program (OTPs) sites and 10 nutrition stabilization centers.

Furthermore, community based outreach services will be provided to screen malnourished children. Nutritional supplements alongside referrals and follow-ups for the treatment of children and women will be carried out. Promotion of breastfeeding and complementary feeding, followed by improving hygiene and dietary practices will be implemented too.

January 26, 2019

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