Nutrition is for all – Let’s define those linkages

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PESHAWAR (PR) – Nutrition International (NI) in collaboration with Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has organized a special nutrition dialogue titled: “Nutrition is for all of us- Let’s define those linkages!’’ on December 01, 2018 in Peshawar. The meeting was opened by the Provincial Minister of Health of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.

It is Nutrition International’s privilege to work alongside the government in fighting against malnutrition as critical priority. His announcement of 25 November 2018, the Prime Minister reiterated his resolve to address issues of stunting and malnutrition which led to his immediate directives for initiation of nutrition programme for four million children affected by stunted growth. These are indeed landmark decisions in the country’s fight against malnutrition. Pakistan finally has begun recognizing the important and urgency of investing in nutrition, not only for its people to be healthy, but also to help lift them out of the poverty.

While commending the landmark initiatives taken by the honorable Prime Minister, Senator Dr. Meher Taj Roghani reiterated that the government remains committed to serve the underserved and malnourished communities in particular children and women. She stressed the dire need of adequate nutrition to attain optimal health outcomes during vulnerable phases of life such as pregnancy and first 1000 days and adolescence. This is basic human right of every citizen of Pakistan. “We are extremely inspired by PM Khan’s inaugural address to the nation where he underscored the issues of malnutrition, stunting, women dying in pregnancy and childbirth as an awakening call to challenge ourselves to do even more”, she reiterated. “We want to be true champions for these critical issues that Nutrition International has highlighted because short term commitments will not achieve long-term results”, Senator Roghani said.

The key objectives of the nutrition dialogue include, but not limited, to: 1) engage all the stakeholders to understand the multiple and intricate linkages of nutrition component with existing public health interventions addressing issues of poverty, education, population growth, health and gender equality; 2) generate strategic discourse on how the critical component of nutrition can be integrated in the strategic national agenda of public health to improve the quality of life of the most underserved and vulnerable segments of society i.e. girls, women, children and community, at large.

The Chief, Maternal Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition at Nutrition International expressed sincere hopes and reiterated strong commitment in supporting Government’s effort in improving the nutrition and health of adolescent girls, pregnant women, newborn, infants and young children – and reinforce the strong foundation it has already built towards the achievement of its nutrition targets. “The Nutrition International remains committed to unlocking the power of partnerships between government, the private sector, NGOs, professional bodies and international organizations including UN to further the neglected agenda of nutrition through strategic dialogue, policy advocacy, service delivery and strengthened strategic partnerships. Concrete recommendations and suggestions stemming from the ”Nutrition Dialogue” will be pursued at all relevant levels.

The Nutrition International acknowledged the vital collaboration with Pakistan Medical Association without which it would have not been possible to organize such an important dialogue as part of the PMA conference scientific agenda. “We want to strengthen our ongoing partnership with Nutrition International and take this dialogue forward in a strategic manner.” Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, Secretary-General, PMA Centre said.

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