Press Releases

Pakistan has highest infant mortality rate in the world – Breastfeeding stands at a record low of 37.7 per cent

Shikarpur September 29: Shikarpur faces a health emergency-like
situation where more than half of the children are malnourished and
suffering from illness while poor water and sanitation facilities and
lack of vaccination cover is putting lives of children in danger.

Pakistan has highest number of first day child deaths in the world and
Sindh tops with 3 percent more infant mortality rate than other
provinces – breastfeeding not increased even 1 per cent in the last
five years while malnutrition is affecting half of mothers and
children amongst Pakistani population. Said, Iqbal Detho, Provincial
Manager, Save the Children.

At Shikarpur press club a media briefing was conducted by Save the
children in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan where participants
urged the media to highlight the situation in Shikapur so that the
policy makers shift their focus to important issues like health and

More than half of the Shikarpur District children were found to be
suffering from illness in a survey released in December last year. The
enactment of the Sindh Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and
Child Nutrition Act 2013 and the adoption of Sindh Inter-sectoral
Nutrition Strategy by the Government of Sindh are landmark steps but
effective implementation of the laws and strategies is yet to be seen.

A highly inadequate budget for nutrition and child health programs is
warranting an immediate consideration of the lawmakers to readjust
their priorities.

Mubashir Zaidi, lead trainer of AGAHI said that Pakistan is certain to
miss targets of Millennium Development goals No 4 & 5 which relates to
child and mother mortality in 2015. The targets have now been included
in Vision 2025 by the Government of Pakistan, which were supposed to
be achieved by 2015.

But as it is said that it is never too late – the media, civil society
and health organizations can join hands and create a pressure on
policy makers to get their priorities right and focus on child health
issues. Breastfeeding stands at a record low of 37.7 per cent in
Pakistan while bottle feeding has increased to over 42 per cent
showing a sharp rise of over 11 per cent in the past five years as
compared to breastfeeding which has registered an increase of .6 per
cent in the last five years.

Speaking on the occasion, Ayaz Sanjrani, President, Shikarpur press
club said that increasing poverty is adding to the problems of the
residents of Shikarpur District where 62 per cent of people are living
under poverty line. Less than forty per cent of Shikarpur people do
not have access to toilet while more than 85 per cent of people do not
use soaps.

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