LAHORE - Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab on Health Kh Salman Rafique on Sunday said that government was implementing various projects to overcome the problem of malnutrition in children and inclusion of nutritional ingredients in food essential for a healthy society.

Talking to media after leading a walk arranged by Green Growth Pakistan to highlight the importance of balanced diet, he said that a large number of children were facing malnutrition. Patron Green Growth Pakistan and former Federal Secretary Shahid Hussain Raja, Senior Vice President Akram Khalid, Special Secretary Health Babar Hayat Tarar, representatives of NGOs and a large number of youth were present on the occasion.

The walk started from Liberty Market Gulberg and concluded at Origa Centre. Kh Salman Rafique said that although poverty was the main cause of malnutrition, there was lack of awareness in the affluent and middle class about the importance of a balanced diet. He said that deficiency of iodine was a problem which results in complications during pregnancy besides mental diseases, abortion and still birth. Similarly, deficiency of vitamin-A also affects eyesight of children as well as weaken their immunity system. He said that strict action has been taken against those involved in adulteration in edibles and sale of substandard essential items. Special Secretary informed that Punjab Health Department was providing technical training and cooperation to the factories in the production of iodized salt. He said that a dose of vitamin-A is also given to the children during anti-polio campaign. Furthermore, 87 flour mills are implementing iron fortification flour programme in Punjab.

He said that Health Department is also implementing a coordinated programme through lady health workers, lady health visitors, nursing instructors, lady health supervisors and medical officers highlight the importance of breastfeeding.