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Govt to play role in addressing stunted growth among children: PM

ISLAMABAD: A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan has been informed that 40 percent of children in Pakistan are suffering from stunting.

Presiding over a meeting of the Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council (PNNCC), the prime minister said that important issues like stunting (underweight and underweight children) have been overlooked in the past in which physical abilities get affected.

The prime minister said that stunting deprives the society of its constructive capabilities. During the meeting, chaired by PM Imran Khan, he was briefed on the plan for the nutritional needs of women and newborns.

The members were informed that it was the responsibility of the provincial governments to play a pivotal role in stunting. The Ehsas Development Dashboard would start functioning across the country from today, the committee was informed.

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The dashboard will provide detailed data about stunting to all concerned. It may be recalled that in March last year, the World Bank had released a report titled ‘Pakistan’s Hundred Years and Outline of the Future’ in which the county was advised to invest in human lives.

The World Bank report revealed that the rate of underweight and underweight children in Pakistan has decreased, but it is still the highest rate of stunted children in the world.

The report said that stunting has an irreparable effect on people’s abilities.  As per the report, stunting is not only a health and nutrition problem but also an economic problem related to production.

If a child is a stuntman, it becomes difficult for him to learn, accept abilities, and develop. The negative impact of stunting in Pakistan is estimated at 2 to 3 percent of GDP. The World Bank report says that Pakistan will be 100 years old in 2047.

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