Malnutrition- an Outocme of Illiteracy

Malnutrition- an Outocme of Illiteracy

  ‘Since 1965 until 2011, we have made virtually no progress in bringing down the levels of malnutrition, especially when it poses to be one of the greatest threat to the life.’ declares National Nutrition Survey Report.


In Pakistan, where malnutrition is never treated as a subject to be addressed, 35 % of the people die of it each year. The ever-increasing rate with which it is rising especially after the recent floods in the interior parts of the Sindh including Badin, Sanghar and Mir Pur Khas, severe nutritional deficiencies have killed and crippled hundreds.


An interesting insight to the scenario is, as  Dr. Atif Habib (AKUH ) revealed that ‘Malnutrition is positively correlated with maternal illiteracy.’


To elaborate, poverty alone is not the proponent of nutritional deficiencies but the lack of maternal awareness about the intake of balanced diet by their children has led to acute anemia and severe iron and calcium+vitamin D deficiencies among people, especially those who are flood-stricken. Not surprisingly,  only 36% of the Pakistani population consumes 5 of the food groups and the rest survive on less than that. To add to it, only 42% people are food secure, and the rest, though they strive each day with no certainty whether they would be successful in eking out the victuals of life.


Fifty percent of the women in Pakistan have alarmingly low levels of calcium and 23.2% amongst them face severe vitamin D deficiency. This has led to serious birth complications mostly stillbirths and the anathema is that mothers bequeath this deficiency to their children who also become the infant shareholders in the heritage.


Illiteracy brings a host of issues with it. It turns people blind to sanity and cleanliness issues, and makes their homes breeding grounds of germs that eventually claim their residents’ lives.


Sindh, the province hit worst by the floods stand at a critically high level of malnutrition. Mothers are unable to feed their newborns for their milk has dried up owing to lack of food; the children have stunted growth and serious ailments that are solely the outcome of acute nutritional deficiencies.


This issue, though often ignored, is clamoring for attention. It calls for government’s interest, people’s support and sympathy and active work on the part of the local and international NGO’s to muster up against this malady inflicting our generations.

Madeeha Ishtiaque

The content writer & person-in-charge of the The News/Geo International Blog. She monitors the social media activity on The News. Follow her on twitter @charmed0000

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  • Farooq M.Hashmi

    Dr.NASAH,there are a lot of philias which attack human-beings.How if the medical lexicographers add to the medical dictionaries some new philias which have assailed Pakistanis______”Hejabophilia”,”Neqabophilia”,”burqa-philia”,pogonophilia and pygophilia(with a reference to KPKh-based maulanas),etc.

    • NASAH

      The message for your Hejabophiliacs and the Burqophiliacs — let the SUN in and the darkness out — for your skin health and the health of your bones.

      Take it off — take all of it off — let the SUN soak your body as well as your MIND.

  • Anonymous

    Hashmi Sb

    Philias are nearly not as pejorative, even medically and there exist Phobias too – like Hejabophobia, Neqabophobia, burqaphobia. The phobias may even cause more mental harm then philias, to the affected party.

    Philias and Phobias are possibly at the two ends of the same stick and just like Hippocrates (or Abicena), perhaps the aim should be to bring them towards the centre (balance those humour!)

    Surely you would approve of a pogonophile who is also a mazophile as well as pygophile in the same object – not that it is material in these days of equality for the “happy” ones! …and why should it matter?!

    All this reinforces the point that some personal choices are no one else’s business because they do not effect the third party in any significant manner.

  • Anonymous

    Nasah Sb

    Nature will strike back with osteoprosis if well-off Hijabi hardliners are not condusive to the great plan…..or the covers will come off in due course to survive… why worry!

  • Nishant

    you educate a boy …. you educate a man

    you educate a girl .. … you educate a family