Food is a basic need of everyone and therefore, access to food is the fundamental right of every human being. Every individual has a right to adequate nutritious food. Eating too little or eating an unbalanced diet creates malnutrition. According to a report, malnutrition is directly responsible for 3, 00,000 deaths per year in children younger than five years in developing countries and contributes indirectly to more than half of all deaths in children worldwide.
Malnutrition is a lavish problem catalyzing as an unhealthy condition that results from not eating enough or healthy food. However, it is catalyzed by the deficiency of nutrients in one’s diet. Similarly it may cause when a child is neglected, living in poverty or being sexually assaulted. It causes lack of appetite cancer, liver disease, persistent pain, stress and schizophrenia which affects one’s ability to look after himself.
As cleared that good nutrition benefits families, their communities and able bodied, productive and capable to learn and gain more but unfortunately, Pakistan nutritional stance is not satisfactory and diluted died is effecting people of all ages especially, women and children. The malnutrition and stunted growth is alarming worldwide including Pakistan which is now the third highest pc of stunted growth in the world. There are 44pc stunted growth in country with 10 million malnourished children, among whom 25 pc are under the age of 5. The most recent estimate of UN nourished and 37.5m people are not getting polio yield nourished food. Especially in Balochistan where 83.4pc families are deprived of died food the duplicate situation is in rural and urban areas of the country.
On the other hand, deficiency intake of same essential nutrients like protein and iodine is another factor of malnutrition. In Pakistan, 135m people have no access to such advantages nutrients. Meanwhile the inadequacy of these precludes the brain to develop and weakness it. That results poor school performance, growth failure, loss of muscle mass, weakening of heart and respiratory system. Nevertheless, another factor of malnutrition is unsafe food, water and lack of sanitation facility. The National Nutrition Survey (2011) reflects a widespread micronutrient deficiency among children up to five years and pregnant & lactating women suffering from anemia, zinc, iodine, and vitamin-A deficiencies. Data shows that 44 per cent of the children less than five years are stunted, 32 per cent are underweight, 15 per cent wasted and 62 per cent are iron deficient. The data of underweight mothers illustrate that 18 per cent, 14 per cent, 20 per cent at the national, urban and rural respectively. In addition, Anemia and other micronutrient deficiencies such as Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A and D are widespread in the country.
Nutrition Status in Balochistan: Under-nutrition parameters in Balochistan are worse than national averages. Balochistan shows higher figures for under-nutrition than other provinces. Around 40% of the children in the province are underweight, and 16% suffer from wasting. Nearly half of the mothers and children in Balochistan have vitamin A deficiency, zinc deficiency, and anemia. These numbers also reflect long-standing under-nutrition in the region, as evidenced by high percentages of under-weight children in 2011 (39.6%) and of stunted growth, or ‘stunting’ (52.0%). There are also great regional disparities within the province: northern Balochistan shows the districts with the highest prevalence of under-nutrition. In some districts, stunting rates are as high as 84.6% (National Nutrition Survey [NNS], 2011) as compared to an overall provincial rate of 52%
With a total budgetary requirement of $347 million, the Balochistan Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Strategy 2016-20 is beset with a financial shortfall of US $135 million, which urgently needs to be bridged to improve the state of newborn health in a province that is conspicuous for the highest under-five mortality rate (785 per 100,000 live births) in Pakistan.
As cleared, malnutrition leaves so many effects on country and its public. Children, who are the future of country, are unluckily the greatest victim of it. So, for eradication of malnutrition government and donors should provide funding to furnish access to food and start urgent school feeding programmes. Secondly, through NGOs the women must be educated about family planning, hygiene, diet and notorious food for babies after the age of six months so that no any children in country will be the victim of malnutrition.