I wish to bring your attention to the findings from the 2011 National Nutritional Survey and Food Fortification sopping study 2015. It reveals that more than 50% of children are vitamin A deficient. About 40% of women and children were deficient in zinc, and 70% of pregnant women and 40% of children were deficient in vitamin D. Moreover, persistent high rates of stunting (44%) and wasting (15%) among children under 5 are an important reminder that are currently being denied their human right to nutrition. Malnutrition and lack of fortified food is biggest challenge in Pakistan. Maternal and neonatal death occurs due to lack of nutritious and fortified food. Across the world, billions of people suffer from at least one micronutrient deficiency be it Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iodine Iron etc.

We need to divert our attention both at the supply side and demand side of Food Fortification i.e. advocacy and lobbying food industries to provide us “fortified food”, and with the state to legislate to make food fortification mandatory in Pakistan. According to experts, fortified edible oil and wheat flour is a great carrier of Micronutrients for children and mothers. I would like to invite the attention of the legislatures, decision makers, policy makers, media, federal, provincial and local government authorities concerned towards health and nutrition in Pakistan. It is frustrating that malnutrition, considered to be one of the core issues of Pakistan, is being neglected by the government.

LAILA RUBAB JASKANI,

Rajanpur, December 20.