QUETTA: Balochistan Health Minister Saleh Baloch has said that doing away with malnutrition, especially among women and children, is the priority of the government.
“Micronutrient deficiencies and their impact on health is a serious concern for political leadership,” he said while speaking at a seminar on ‘Balochistan wheat fortification legislation’ here on Monday
Emphasising the role of the private sector in solving the problem at the event organised by the Balochistan Nutrition Programme for Mothers and Children (BNPMC), he said that adequate legislation would be done to fortify wheat flour with iron, folic acid and vitamins.
Dr Ruqiya Hashmi, chairperson of the Provincial Standing Committee on Population and Health, supporting legislation for wheat fortification said that food fortification was the easiest and a cost-effective means to addressing malnutrition, particularly iron deficiency among women and children.
BNPMC programme director Dr Fahim Khan said that malnutrition indicators presented a horrific picture.
A survey on mother-child health conducted jointly by the health department and the Aga Khan University showed that 16 per cent of the children faced serious nutrition problem with 40pc falling in low weight category and 52pc were smaller in height as compared to their ages.
He said that 54.9pc women and 73.5pc children suffered from vitamin A deficiency and 48.9pc women and 56.8 children faced iron deficiency in the province.