PM Imran launches first anti-stunting program
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched country’s first Ehsaas Nashonuma program to prevent stunted growth of the children.
Accompanied by his Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar, the prime minister also visited a Nashonuma Center established in Khyber district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The resolution of stunting issue among the children has always been among the prime minister’s priorities which was neglected by the previous governments, according to a PM Office press release.
Pakistan stood at second in the region for stunting as 40 percent of the children faced stunted growth owing to malnutrition or other reasons which adversely impact their natural height and mental capability.
The government has earmarked Rs 8.52 billion budget for the government funded three-year Nashonuma program.
The project beneficiaries would be provided quarterly stipend of Rs2,000 for girls and Rs1,500 for boys. In the initial phase, 33 Nashonuma centers have been established in nine districts including Khyber, Upper Dir, Bagh, Ghizer, Hunza, Kharmang, Kharan, Badin and Rajanpur.
The districts have been selected on the basis of prevalence of stunting. The establishment of all 33 Nashonuma centers would be completed by end of August. Four centers have been be set up in Rajanpur, six in Upper Dir and three in Khyber while six would be established in Badin, three each in Kharan and Bagh and eight in Gilgit Baltistan.
An application has also been designed to maintain the health record of the beneficiaries and special registration desks have also been set up for beneficiary women at the centers.
The desks would maintain data of pregnant and lactating mothers and the height, weight and health condition of their under-two year babies.
The beneficiary women would be bound to attend the awareness sessions to be held in the regional languages for what special literature including charts, posters and educational videos have been designed.
Special ATM machines are being set up at all Nashonuma Centers to dispense the amount of stipend through biometrics.
World Food Programme is the implementing partner of Ehsaas for this programme.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the families eligible for Ehsaas cash programme will be entitled to benefit from Nashonuma programme.
She said under the programme pregnant and breast feeding women will be provided special nutritious food.