Food Insecurity and Malnutrition in Tharparkar Deserts Sindh-Pakistan

The term’ malnutrition’ is commonly used to describe both over and under nutrition, with inadequate nutrition referring mainly to a nutritional deficit.

By Amir Hussain

Tharparkar district in the famous Thar Desert spans over 120,000 square miles across the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Despite the fact that Pakistan only covers 15% of the desert, high rates of child mortality, mostly due to acute malnutrition, provide a significant challenge to local authorities and humanitarian agencies. According to reports, the Civil Hospital in Mithi is underfunded, staff members are AWOL, and medicines are scarce in the area. Despite the fact that Pakistan only covers 15% of the desert, high rates of child mortality, mostly due to acute malnutrition, provide a significant challenge to local authorities and humanitarian agencies. According to reports, the Civil Hospital in Mithi is underfunded, staff members are AWOL, and medicines are scarce in the area. The locals’ misery has been exacerbated by a lack of resources. According to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, an emergency situation exists when the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate among children and women exceeds 15%.The Sindh government announced the formation of the Thar Development Authority in 2014 to address the issue, but the draught is still awaiting approval malnutrition these statistics present a serious situation and calls for a swift action by the government and its partners to improve the nutritional status of children and women. And civil society groups working in the area suffering from chronic malnutrition these statistics present a serious situation and calls for a swift action by the government and its partners to improve the nutritional status of children and women. The latter kind of malnutrition could be caused by food shortages, a lack of maternal education, incorrect feeding, and infections. Malnutrition is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. 3 Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a very low weight for height, visible severe wasting, or the presence of nutritional edema. Under nutrition in childhood, including fetal growth restriction, stunting, wasting, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies, and inadequate breastfeeding, has been responsible for 3.1 million child deaths per year, accounting for 45 percent of total childhood mortality. Acute malnutrition is a severe public health problem that can reach epidemic proportions in some areas. Around 55 million children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition worldwide, with 26 million of them severely and acutely malnourished, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Diarrhea, one of the leading causes of under-five childhood mortality over the last two decades, exacerbates malnutrition. If pneumonia is present as co-morbidity with severe malnutrition, the risk of death is reported to be fifteen times higher. Furthermore, (Significance Analysis of Microarrays) SAM is common in countries afflicted by natural catastrophes and violence, necessitating rapid action to preserve children’s lives. Malnutrition is a major public health issue in Pakistan’s Southern Deserts, and it has gotten worse as the population has grown. 8 Country failed to fulfill MDG targets for reducing child mortality, owing in part to security concerns and natural calamities like as earthquakes, floods, and droughts. According to the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2011, these inescapable conditions left a significant population homeless, hungry, and vulnerable to diseases and malnutrition. According to a study conducted in Punjab province, illiteracy, big family size, absence of breastfeeding, and poverty are the leading causes of malnutrition in children under the age of five. Another study from Sindh province found the same reasons, with the addition of recurring diarrhea as a complicating condition. Women’s limited mobility, poverty, and a lack of knowledge about children’s illnesses have all been identified as major determinants of child health outcomes in Pakistan’s northern areas In rural Sindh, 63 percent of children were stunted (40 percent severely stunted), 48 percent were underweight, and 14 percent were wasting, according to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2012-13.With this state of affairs, it’s necessary to take a new look at the issue and then recommend practical and impactful actions to the provincial health department’s programmed managers and decision-makers. The primary goal of this study was to comprehend and catalogue all of the determinants and their associations with SAM among children in the Tharparkar district, which is notable in terms of (Significance Analysis of Microarrays) SAM statistics.

Author:  Amir Hussain Research Associate Botanical Science DivisionPakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad Pakistan

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