Malnutrition and stunted growth are major issues in Pakistan. According to the World Bank, the percentage of children under the age of 5 who are stunted is 40.7%, while the percentage of children under the age of 5 who are wasted is 14.2%. These percentages are among the highest in the world and have a direct impact on the economic and social development of the country.
The main cause of malnutrition and stunted growth in Pakistan is poverty. In rural areas, where most of the population lives, families are unable to afford proper nutrition for their children due to low incomes. This lack of nutritious food leads to a lack of necessary nutrients and vitamins, resulting in stunted growth and other health issues.
In addition to poverty, inadequate healthcare is a major contributor to the problem. Poor access to healthcare services, particularly in rural areas, means that children are not receiving the medical attention they need to prevent or treat malnutrition. The lack of access to healthcare also means that families are unable to identify and address nutrition-related health issues in their children.
The government of Pakistan has taken some steps to address malnutrition and stunted growth. The government has implemented various programs, such as the National Nutrition Survey, to monitor the nutritional status of children. In addition, it has launched several initiatives to improve access to healthcare, including the provision of free healthcare services to children under the age of 5.
Despite these efforts, much more needs to be done to address the issue. The government must continue to invest in healthcare and nutrition programs and ensure that families have access to nutritious food. In addition, work must be done to raise awareness about the importance of good nutrition and stunting prevention.
It is imperative to provide basic nutrition to children, no matter what background they come from. While the poor are more vulnerable to these issues, those who have adequate resources also do not focus on feeding their children nutritious food due to poor consumption habits.
Malnutrition and stunted growth are major issues in Pakistan that must be addressed if the country is to achieve its economic and social development goals. The government must take further steps to improve access to healthcare and nutrition services and must invest in awareness-raising campaigns to ensure that all families are aware of the importance of good nutrition. Only then will the country be able to make progress in reducing malnutrition and stunted growth.
Children are the future of any nation, and if they are not raised properly and on a nutritious diet, not only the individual but the country as a whole suffers. Therefore, this is one of the most basic conditions for growth and sustainable development in a country. The economics of poverty suggests that when a person does not grow up on a nutritious diet, they are unable to work properly and become a productive part of society. Hence, they remain poor due to their inability to be productive, which further fuels the vicious cycle of poverty they are stuck in. This is one of the factors contributing to intergenerational poverty. Pakistan needs to heavily invest in this issue as children are the future and they must not be neglected.