PESHAWAR - Parliamentarians from ruling and opposition parties pledged their support to address the issue of under-nutrition children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
They stated this during a briefing of parliamentarians organised by 'Save the Children' a non-governmental organisation (NGO) here on Tuesday.
The lawmakers belonging to ruling and opposition parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while sharing their views highlighted the importance of integrated approach to respond the issue of under nutrition in the province. It was recommended that consultations at district and tehsil level would be organised by involving local administration, concerned health officials and civil society organisations to create awareness about the issue of under-nutrition among the people.
Female nutrition should be prioritised and masses sensitisation programmes should be initiated by involving media, Lady Health Workers' and Community Midwives, they urged. An MPA from Upper Dir recommended that nutrition programmes should be initiated in far-flung areas.
KPK Minster for Health Shaukat Yousafzai said that the provincial government was committed to take pre-emptive steps to reduce infant and under five mortality across the province. "This will be done by addressing the issue of malnutrition in the province with the support of development partners," he said.
He hailed the role of the civil society for organising a briefing on nutrition and emphasized follow-up meetings, adding the incumbent provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was busy in preparation of Integrated Provincial Nutrition Strategy. "The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Breast-feeding and Child Nutrition Bill 2013' is in final stage and shall be presented before Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in its coming session," he added.
He further said that the KPK will not only enact law for the protection and promotion of breastfeeding but will also implement it in letter and spirit. The KPK Assembly is also going to enact the Food Safety Bill in the next session. The briefing was attended by 11 members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from different political parties, development partners for nutrition, members of child rights movement and journalists. Earlier, Arshad Mahmood, Director Advocacy and Child Rights Governance, Save the Children highlighted the role of parliamentarians in improving nutrition situation in KPK. He stressed that the government must adopt Provincial Integrated Nutrition Strategy and enact the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Bill 2013.