CRM is concerned over the deaths of newborn
and under five children in Tharparkar
Islamabad- March 11, 2013: The Child Rights Movement (CRM) Pakistan is concerned over the reported deaths of newborns and under five years old children in Tharparkar due to various diseases which are closely linked with famine like situation in the area. “This is an alarming situation and requires an effective and sustainable solution to ensure children’s lives are saved”, said the movement of more than 100 Non Governmental Organisations which is working for the promotion and protection of child rights in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s maternal mortality ratio and newborn and under five mortality rates are quite high and malnutrition is one of the key contributing cause of almost 45% of all preventable under five deaths in the country said CRM Pakistan’s in its press release. The federal and provincial governments should respond seriously by taking emergency as well as long term development steps to ensure that famines and poor nutrition among children is prevented.
The Government of Sindh should immediately send teams of doctors to Tharparkar to help mothers and children who are affected by under nutrition and provide them with not only medical treatment but also nutritious food. The Government should also start implementing the Multi Sectoral Nutrition Strategy to overcome the malnutrition and food security issues in the province on sustainable basis which will also help prevent not only under five and maternal deaths but will also promote healthy growth of children. The issue of under nutrition among children and women is not an issue to be handled by the Department of Health and or Food only rather there is a need to involve Departments of Education, Agriculture, Food, Zakat, Social Welfare and Women Development, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the Civil Society and media to respond to the situation.
According to Article 38 (d) of the Constitution of Pakistan it is the responsibility of the State that all citizens are provided with “basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief” however, the findings of the National Nutrition Survey 2011 clearly reveal that little or no focus has been given to the right to food in Pakistan which is resulting in various health related problems among women and children. The federal and provincial governments should prioritise nutrition and food security and take immediate steps to prevent any future catastrophe recommended the CRM.