ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that development of human resource and social sectors are important components of the present government’s development plans.
Launching the National Nutrition Survey Report 2011 at a ceremony in Islamabad today‚ he said the government is committed to building an economically strong Pakistan but this is not possible without a healthy nation. He said all necessary resources will be mobilized to eradicate malnutrition and hunger from the country.
The Minister regretted that the previous governments neglected the human resource development but the present government has the political will and due importance will be given to nutrition and social development.
Ahsan Iqbal said though the subject of health has been devolved to the provinces yet the federal government will coordinate with the provinces to address the issue of malnutrition. In this connection a task force will be established for coordination with the provinces to address under nutrition especially among children and women. He said there is also dire need to properly integrate nutrition with the health care system and doctors given training on the subject.
He said a communication campaign should also be launched to create awareness among the people about the complications of malnutrition.
Speaking on the occasion Minister of State for National Health Services‚ Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said that malnutrition is taking a heavy toll on the infants and pregnant women. She pointed out that one thirds of deaths among new borns are being attributed to under nutrition and there is a need for an integrated approach to address this serious issue. She said her ministry is ready to work closely with the provinces to permanently address the issue of under nutrition. NNI