QUETTA: Malnutrition exists in Balochistan in its worst form and special attention is needed to overcome the problem, speakers said at a ceremony held here on Tuesday.
Provincial Minister for Planning and Development Dr Hamid Khan Achakzai said at the launching of the ‘Scaling up Nutrition’ movement organised by his department that the malnutrition ratio in Balochistan was alarming.
“The findings of a National Nutrition Survey suggest that core mother and child nutrition indicators improved by only a small degree during the previous decade.”
He urged all stakeholders to play their role in tackling the problem.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) representative Francisco Gamarro said: “The ratio of children found underweight decreased from 42 per cent in 2001 to 31.5pc in 2011.”
Provincial Health Secretary Dr Mohammad Umar Baloch said: “As many as 69.1pc of the surveyed households were using iodised salt as compared to 17pc in the past.”
Health expert Prof Ayesha Siddique said that the percentage of children suffering from stunted growth in the country was the third highest in the world at 45pc — about 9.6 million children. Another 15.1pc children were suffering from acute malnutrition.
The FAO’s focal person Dr Nomeena Anis said iron deficiency (anaemia) was found in 61.9pc of the respondents, zinc deficiency in 39.2pc and Vitamin D deficiency in 40pc.