Health experts have emphasised on implementation of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Integrated Nutrition Strategy and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Act 2015 to overcome the malnutrition issue in province.
In a press conference held on Saturday at Peshawar Press Club in connection with observance of the Universal Children Day falling on November 20, Pakistan Paediatric Association (PPA) provincial President Prof Dr Irshad Ahmad shared that the prevalence of nutritional stunting was dangerously high at up to 55% among children under five years of age as compared to 43.7% national average.
He informed that stunting occurs when a child’s growth and development is impaired from poor nutrition. He added the stunting could deprive children of the opportunity to reach their full potential in life.
He said many children die of pneumonia, measles, diarrhoea, and other diseases due lack of proper vaccination, which is a matter of grave concern, and should be addressed by creating proper awareness to bring behaviour change among parents.
Dr Irshad said that poverty was not root cause of high mortality rate of new born. He emphasised the need for best healthcare facilities to expecting mothers and their children at home as well as hospital.
PPA is going to observe November 20, Universal Children Day, in joint collaboration with provincial health department, Unicef and Planning and Development SUN cell, aimed to highlight the children rights, issues and would formulate a holistic strategy for their amicable resolution.
He informed that different awareness programmes, walks and seminars would also be organised on the day under the banner of PPA and other provincial government line agencies to highlight the issues pertaining to child rights. Dr Irshad demanded of the provincial government to officially observe November 20 as children day in K-P so that various departments, non-governmental organisations, and relevant stakeholders could sit-together to discuss child rights, needs and others problems to formulate a joint strategy to address these pending, unavoidable issues.
Correspondent. Pediatricians call for implementing breastfeeding law. The Express Tribune, November 19, 2017.