Lahore - Pakistan Poultry Association Northern Zone chairman Dr. Mustafa Kamal has shown his severe concern over the rising fatality ratio due to malnutrition in drought-hit Tharparkar. He requested the federal government as well as the Sindh government to immediately draft a policy to address the root causes of malnutrition through additional investment on food supply to drought-hit areas.

In a press statement, the PPA urged the Sindh government to improve the funding for nutrition programmes in Tharparkar and other districts from its budget of Annual Development Programme (ADP).

Quoting the Nutrition Information System data, PPA (NZ) chairman Dr. Mustafa Kamal said that majority of the children were acutely malnourished in areas adjacent to Tharparkar, mainly Umerkot and Sanghar. He said that National Nutrition Survey highlighted a rising number of malnutrition-related clinical admissions of pregnant women and child mortality in the Tharparkar district. The main issue of women of this area is loss of muscles owing to lack of good quality protein in their food.

It is very difficult for the government to provide them animal protein due to high cost, transportation and storage issues.

However, the authorities can easily include eggs and milk in their nutrition programme, as it is low cost, easily transportable, having high shelf life and protein of 6.5 gram. Under the Benazir Income Support Programme, the Sindh government should provide food coupon to the inhabitants of calamity-hit areas to improve their nutrition standard, as WHO suggests 27 gram of animal protein per day for healthy person, he suggested.

 He urged the Sindh government to scale up nutrition and other support initiatives for over 1.3 million people for a year in Tharparkar and surrounding districts. The government should arrange funds to provide special consignment of milk and eggs for Tharparker people as Pakistan’s poultry industry has sufficient capacity in this regard.