Pakistan – health profile

Like Bangaldesh, Pakistan has leveraged its large labour force to grow itself out of severe poverty. But also like its neighbour, Pakistan is beset by serious and entrenched child and maternal health issues – life and death for families and considered an obstacle to future growth.

The most recent national nutrition survey, released in 2013, noted that 32 percent of children under five were underweight, and a full 44 percent were stunted. It also revealed that 60 percent of children and 50 percent of mothers suffer from anemia. As one example of how poor diet can affect society at large, the survey estimated that 18 percent of women suffer chronic energy deficiency due to their low Body Mass Index.

Seven-year-old Saima, wearing new uniform for her school.

Sukkur District – 1000 Day Journey focus area

Sukkur District is part of Sindh Province, in eastern Pakistan. It is a poor district, under-resourced in health care. The under-five mortality rate, at 147 per 1,000 live births is nearly double the national average. Three fifths of these deaths are infants, related to the fact that 40 percent of births in the area occur without a skilled birth attendant present.

Recognizing the dire needs in the area, the focus of 1000 Day Journey is to enhance mother and child nutrition. Working through 43 Basic Health Units in the area, the program will improve access to nutrition and health services by enhancing the capacity of service providers. It will also promote mother and infant feeding programs, and increased consumption of nutritious foods.