ISLAMABAD-Association for Gender Awareness and Human Empowerment (AGAHE) in partnership with Food Fortification Programme (FFP) on Wednesday launched a food fortification plan for federal capital. Addressing the launching ceremony, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Dr Nausheen Hamid said that the government will provide full assistance for success of this program.

She said that the government will ensure its support at national and provincial level to combat micronutrient deficiencies particularly among women and children. She said that addition of vitamins and minerals to staple food prevents micronutrient deficiencies in the body. Fortified foods provide a preventive rather than a therapeutic benefit, she added.

She said that the government was committed to contribute to the improvement of the nutritional status of people in Pakistan, particularly women of childbearing age and young children. She said that the government was striving to improve food fortification regulatory system, awareness raising and generating evidence to formulate relevant policies to combat micronutrient deficiencies in the country.

Other speakers said that the food fortification programme is a five year programme in Pakistan in close coordination of the provincial and federal governments aimed at supporting national and provincial efforts to combat micronutrient deficiencies particularly among women and children. They said that awareness messages on the benefits of fortified food have already been included in the nutrition manual of the health care providers and curriculum of school health and nutrition supervisors in Punjab.

They said that Food Fortification Programme (FFP) was established to provide support to industry to adequately fortify wheat flour and edible oil or ghee in Pakistan, considering micronutrient malnutrition as major public health challenge in Pakistan.