Number of Stunted Children Declines but Malnutrition Persists

Umar Cheema, Basit Khan, Muhammad Adil and Asad Zia

Pakistan can claim to have registered a decrease in the rate of stunted children but the pace of progress is very slow. 57% of children were stunted in 1990 and 25 years later, that percentage has dropped to 43%, only a 14% decrease.

Underweight rates are falling but trends vary by region, according to World Health Organization that declares South Asia the most challenging region with 49 million underweight children. That 83% of death in children under age five occurs due to nutritional conditions, among others, make the situation more worrying.

Pakistanis are living an average of three years longer, a trend mirrored globally, according to the data that examined the pattern during the period of 2000-2012.  This is in contrast with lack of progress regarding immunisation among one-year-olds in Pakistan. More than 60% of the world’s children without immunisation live in just 10 countries and Pakistan is one of them.

Little expenditures on health has emerged as one of the core issues. While per capita spending has noted an average increase in other member states, there has been little to no improvement in Pakistan. Newborns are the major victims of this neglect as fewer children live to see their fifth birthday in Pakistan than in the majority of the world.

 

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