‘Right Start Programme’ in Pakistan has been launched by Nutrition International. The aim of this programme is to create betterment and improvement in survival and health of newborns, adolescents and pregnant women. For this programme an investment of above Rs 386 million would be capitalized till the year 2020.
The Canadian government is supporting The Right Start programme. They want to work together with Pakistan to provide better nutrition to young children, newborns and pregnant ladies. The issues faced by women due to high anemia level would be minimized through this programme. Low weight of babies during birth, stunting in kids below five and other complications would also be minimized.
This project of five years would aid 275,000 pregnant women, 298,000 newborns and 546,000 children of at least 2 years. The iron and folic acid supplementations that would be given would be WHO-recommended.
As per a National Nutrition Survey 2011 women and newborns suffer from malnutrition. Almost half pregnant women in Pakistan suffer from anemia, 44% children are undersized and out of three only one baby is breastfed for the initial six months of his/her life.
6% of the world’s underfed babies inhabit in Pakistan. From chronic malnutrition 10 million children suffer while from acute malnutrition 3.3 million kids get affected according to the National Nutrition Survey 2011. Those affected by micronutrient deficiencies include 60% of mothers and young children while 38% of infants are breastfed.
KP Minister of Health Shahram Khan Tarakai said that it is a good initiative by Right Start Programme and we acknowledge it. Selecting Swabi as the trial district and then treating women from all over KPK is a start in the right direction. Improving health issues by treating malnutrition in women and kids is a step towards betterment. He further said that KPK’s government is striving to provide better health facilities to its people.
At this occasion the CEO of Nutrition International, Joel Spicer also spoke and said that this issue of malnutrition in Pakistan requires immediate action. True that awareness is increasing but proper action is also required.