Mishal in Media

The News: Nutritious diet thresholds 65.5pc in Punjab

LAHORE: The total numbers of households below the nutritious diet thresholds in Punjab are 65.5 percent, while the numbers for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are 67.4 percent, Sindh 70.8 percent, and 83.4 percent for Balochistan.

This was highlighted by the researchers’ data in a workshop held at Lahore Press Club on Tuesday on Smart Policy Making on Eliminating Hidden Hunger. The workshop session was held with the support from the Australian High Commission, Islamabad for the journalists working on health public policy.

The session was designed in collaboration with the Lahore Press Club to encourage journalists and media professionals to understand the concept of smart policymaking on eliminating hidden hunger and nutrition awareness.

The media needs to become part of the development agenda in Pakistan to ensure transparency and accountability for quality service delivery to the citizens, the participants urged.  Sheraz Hasnat said this is an important initiative where media can revive public’s trust in institutions, however this requires professionalism and dedication to report on facts.

The Lahore Press Club will lead this change by ensuring accountability of the relevant policymakers to ensure Pakistan’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Eliminating Hunger. He emphasised the need for research and hard work for young journalists to progress in journalism as a career.

Nida Karim, Programme Specialist Eliminating Hidden Hunger at Mishal Pakistan, briefing the journalists said that the Smart Policy Making initiative is to bring media at the core of the development agenda in Pakistan, the initiative will ensure policymaking through data and real time feedback. This will also make policymakers accountable for people. This would not only help the parliamentarians to improve service delivery to the citizens but would also contribute in improving Pakistan’s competitiveness on global footing, while creating accountability through media. She said although the costs for nutrition per capita of Rs 2061 per month is lowest in Punjab compared to Sindh Rs 2306, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs 2152 and Balochistan at Rs 2415.The amount is still out of reach of average citizens’ buying power.

Prof Zafar Iqbal, Chairman Department of Mass Communications, International Islamic University Islamabad during the presentation briefed that almost 24 per cent of the population in Pakistan is suffering with Hidden Hunger.

The awareness of nutrient deficiency level of Iron and Iodine in Pakistan remains highest especially in the urban community with up to 42 percent and 61.6 percent, respectively. Women and children remain the ultimate victims of these deficiencies resulting in high mortality rates, he said.

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