National Courier: Over 65pc Punjab households lack nutrition
LAHORE: Around 65.5% of the households in Punjab do not get the required nutrition to lead a healthy life. This was emphasised through data shared by Mishal Pakistan specialist Nida Karim as she spoke at an interactive session on Smart Policy Making on Eliminating Hidden Hunger. The event was organised at the Lahore Press Club yesterday. Journalists, development professionals, academia and social activists attended the session which was organised to encourage journalists and media professionals to create awareness on malnutrition According to data provided by Mishal’s research, around 67.4% of households in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa, 70.8% in Sindh and 83.4% in Balochistan fail to get the necessary nutrition. Nida said Punjab’s per capita nutrition cost of Rs2,061 is the lowest of the provinces. This compared to Sindh’s Rs2,306, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Rs2,152 and Balochistan’s Rs2,415. However, the amount is still unaffordable for average citizens. Speaking on the occasion, International Islamic University Islamabad Department of Mass Communications Chairman Professor Zafar Iqbal said around 24% of the country’s population is suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth is an immediate challenge. “Journalists should highlight this issue in the media,” he said. The professor added awareness about iron and iodine deficiencies in Pakistan remains extremely low. Women and children remain the ultimate victims of these deficiencies, resulting in high mortality rates. Member of the Lahore Press Club’s Governing Body, Sheraz Hasnat, said this was an important initiative through which the media could revive the public’s trust in institutions. However, it required professionalism and dedication to report on facts, he added. The journalist stated the Lahore Press Club will ensure accountability of the relevant policymakers so that Pakistan achieves Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Eliminating Hunger.