THARPARKAR- Accelerated Action Plan for Reduction of Stunting and Malnutrition (AAP) organised a meeting in Tharparkar, Sindh, which was attended by District Coordination Committee for Nutrition (DCCN) and representatives from different government and non-governmental organisations.
UNICEF Nutrition Officer Dr Mazhar Iqbal, presenting global, national, and Tahrparkar-specific malnutrition statistics, spoke about the measures and steps that can be taken to address the malnutrition situation in the region.
“From a mother’s pregnancy to the child at the age of two years- these 1,000 days are important to follow health directives for mother and child’s health,” he said, adding that malnutrition has multiple underlying causes and conquering it required contributions from all the departments, including healthcare, education, fisheries, livestock, agriculture, population welfare, social welfare and local government.
ADC Mukhtiar Ali Abro said, “The AAP programme is built on latest scientific thoughts and ideas. A multi-sectoral approach to addressing nutritional challenges helps to leverage resources and ensure sustainability by tackling underlying causes through multiple reinforcing strategies’’.
Speaking to the participants, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Irshad Ahmed Memon stated that birth spacing will definitely be helpful in reducing malnutrition level in Thar.
“We have taken school health initiatives; district health teams are going into fields with plans to deworm 2,400 school children,” he said.
The executive director of Sami Foundation, Ghulam Mustafa Khoso, highlighted a plan to make 400 villages of Tharparkar Open Defecation Free (ODF). He informed that an assessment of 200 schools would be conducted from the perspective of availability of wash facilities.
From Nutrition Support Program, Dr Raja informed the meeting participants that in the current year 600 children, who were suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), have been treated at Nutrition Stabilization Centres (NSCs).
Talking about the performance of Nutrition Stabilization Centers, the district manager of Shifa Foundation, Ghulam Ali, said, “We have made NSCs fully operational by providing human resources.”
Taking part in the discussion, the project coordinator at Health and Nutrition Development Society, Samreen Soomro, said that their organization is sincerely working for the cause of malnutrition and is committed to being a part of the humanitarian cause. -PR