Nutrition Support Program, Health Department Government of Sindh in collaboration with ZEEKAY Films launched ‘Behaviour Change Mass Media Campaign – for the reduction of Malnutrition’ at a ceremony recently at a local hotel in Karachi. The Campaign is aimed at reducing prevalence of anaemia in women of reproductive age from 15 percent women to 50 percent in three years, as well as to lower the percentage of wasting by 30 percent during the same period and stunting 1 percent per year in children under the age of five. Furthermore, the Campaign is being implemented through Provincial Nutrition Cell with the partners including Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI), National Program involving LHWs, MNCH through CMWs, NGOs in LHW un-covered areas in the community.
Secretary Health, Dr. Fazalullah Pechuho; Coordinator to the Sindh Chief Minister on Nutrition, Hussain Ali and Program Manager NSP, Dr. Zahoor Ahmad Baloch highlighted astounding facts and figures of Malnutrition in Sindh. They informed that every two in five children are underweight in Sindh. One in 7 children suffers from acute malnutrition and only 29 percent children are breast-fed in the province. For every thousand children that are born, 82 children die before their first birthday and one in 104 children die before their 5th birthday. These targets would be achieved by community and facility-based intervention coupled with mass media behaviour-change communication in local and national languages through short documentaries dramas, TVs, anthems, feature films, and many other creative means.
Earlier, Dr. Zahoor Baloch briefed the participants that the NSP is working in nine districts viz. Badin, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Tando Mohammad Khan, Sanghar, Larkana, Kashmore, Qambar-Shahdadkot, and Jacobabad.
Brand Ambassador of NSB, Ms. Sana Bucha spoke on various objectives of the campaign and ways to achieve them. Dr. Zeeshan Shaikh emphasized the importance of media in effectively tackling the challenge of malnutrition and urged the media to play its role in the fight against malnutrition. He stressed that media can be a vital tool in influencing the behaviours of community.