Consultative seminar on Wheat fortification
(5th September 2016)
A day long consultative seminar held on legislation for wheat fortification was arranged by the BNMPC at Quetta. The legal consultant, advocate Mr. Kaleenullah Quresh presented the 1st draft of “The Balochistan Wheat Fortification Regulation, 2016” with the participants.
Minister Health Balochistan, Mir Rahmat Salah Baloch, chairperson Standing Committee on Health & Population Department Dr. Rouquya Hashmi, Mr. Shokat Ali Feyrozai Deputy Secretary Law Department and representatives of the flour mills association, WFP, UNICEF, Micronutrient Initiative, INGOs, medical practitioners and legislators attended the seminar and contributed their inputs on the draft.
Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch Health Minister Balochistan has said that doing away with malnutrition, especially among women and children, is the priority of the government. “Micronutrient deficiencies and their impact on health is a serious concern for political leadership,” he said while speaking at a seminar on ‘Balochistan wheat fortification legislation’ here on Monday
Emphasizing the role of the private sector in solving the problem at the event organized by the Balochistan Nutrition Programme for Mothers and Children (BNPMC), he said that adequate legislation would be done to fortify wheat flour with iron, folic acid and vitamins.
Dr Ruqiya Hashmi, chairperson of the Provincial Standing Committee on Population and Health, supporting legislation for wheat fortification said that food fortification was the easiest and a cost-effective means to addressing malnutrition, particularly iron deficiency among women and children.
BNPMC Programme Manager Dr Fahim Khan said that malnutrition indicators presented a horrific picture. A survey on mother-child health conducted jointly by the health department and the Aga Khan University showed that 16 per cent of the children faced serious nutritional problem with 40% falling in the low weight category and 52% were smaller in height as compared to their ages.
He said that 54.9PC women and 73.5% children suffered from vitamin A deficiency and 48.9% women and 56.8% children faced iron deficiency in the province.