Pakistan is one of 34 countries most affected by childhood malnutrition, reveals latest study

A news item published in English Daily Pakistan Today reveals Pakistan is one of 34 countries most affected by childhood malnutrition which can be contained at least 90 percent through 10 key nutrition interventions.

pakistanAccording to a paper published in the latest publication of The Lancet Series on maternal and childhood malnutrition, nearly 15 per cent of all deaths in children under five can be prevented.

In Pakistan, this would benefit at least 10 million children and prevent almost 123,000 deaths per year. Given the high burden of under-five child mortality, these strategies are a critical component of interventions to make a difference.

Meanwhile, alarming results of the national nutrition survey show that too many children are sick or dying, wasted or stunted in early childhood, in that special window of opportunity between pre-pregnancy and two years of age, when good nutrition is needed for a healthy and productive life.

Founding Director, Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta and the lead author of the study published in The Lancent said the potential benefits to the affected countries in terms of improved productivity and reduced healthcare costs are substantial.

The 10 interventions identified in the paper include providing folic acid, calcium and balanced energy protein and micronutrient supplements to pregnant women, promoting breastfeeding and delivering appropriate complementary feeding to infants, providing vitamin A and zinc supplements to children up to the age of five, and using proven treatment strategies to manage moderate and severe malnutrition in children.

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