Pakistan’s civil society mobilises mass media for an incredibly successful nutrition campaign
From 15-17 October 2016, the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance in Pakistan (SUNCSA-Pak) launched the first phase of their #InvestInNutrition campaign with support from the Micronutrient Initiative. The campaign coincided with World Food Day which helped to further catalyse attention towards advocacy efforts in Pakistan. The campaign scaled up the prioritisation of malnutrition as a multidimensional issue which must be addressed by all sectors. Mass media including television, radio and newspaper were mobilised to bring the campaign to life.
A holistic approach comprising both preventive and curative methods is essential to improve nutrition indicators. As a preventive measure, a Nutrition Awareness Programme should be introduced by the government with the aim to enhance knowledge within communities about nutrition. The target population should be accessed at a household level. Although the government already has a network of outreach staff, including lady health workers, community midwives and school health nutrition officers, there is a need to strengthen their services through trainings and capacity building.”
Dr Fauzia Waqar, public health specialist, article excerpt from The News Pakistan
Print and online articles featured across the country, including the editorial, “Hunger amidst plenty” published by DAWN, Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper. The article refers to the ranking of Pakistan in the recently released Global Hunger Index. A print newspaper supplement in The Nation, an English-language daily newspaper, featured the immense efforts being made in the country on World Food Day, with articles by:
- Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning and Development
- M. Aslam Shaheen, Chief of Nutrition and SUN Government Focal Point, Planning Commission and member of the SUN Movement Executive Committee
- Dr. Abdul Basaar Khan, National Program Manager, Minister of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination
- Dr. Naseer Muhammad Nizamani, Country Director, Micronutrient Initiative Pakistan
Prof. Iqbal references the need for a balanced diet and recognised that cereal and dairy are the highest consumed food groups whilst vegetables and fruits are low due to market inefficiencies and seasonal fluctuations. He also identified the poor infrastructure of healthcare, particularly in rural areas. M. Shaheen provided a background about Pakistan’s commitment to nutrition and the SUN Movement in 2013 as the 34th SUN Country. He also highlighted the progress made since joining including the establishment of donor, United Nations, civil society, business and academia networks. In addition, effective engagement with parliamentarians and the media has been scaled up to advocate for collective efforts to end malnutrition including better policy development to raising social awareness of food habits.
PTV World, a 24-hour state owned English news channel broadcast two TV Talk Shows titled, “Diplomatic Enclave” with Dr. Naseer Muhammad Nizamani, Country Director Micronutrient Initiative and Secretary of SUNCSA, Pakistan and “Investing Nutrition: Investing in Future” with Dr. Naseer Nizamani, Dr. Baseer Achakzai, Director Nutrition, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination and Joel Spicer, President and CEO of Micronutrient Initiative.
— RightStep Foundation (@RightStepPk) October 17, 2016
Miqdad Syed, Ahmar Majeed, and Sarfraz Kazmi of the Right Step Foundation, a member of SUNCSA,Pak, joined a two hour Morning Radio Show on FM-103 (with RJ Fatima Khan) in Lahore from 8am to 10am on Monday 17 October to discuss the issues of nutrition and food security in relation to World Food Day and the #InvestInNutrition campaign. FM Radio channels also broadcast good nutrition public service announcements during the campaign.
Follow SUNCSA-Pak to learn more about the campaign and other incredible efforts of the alliance in Pakistan:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SUNCSAPak
- Faceboo https://www.facebook.com/Scaling-Up-Nutrition-Civil-Society-Alliance-Pakistan-405586392951623/?fref=ts
- YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7cedzzM5lNsPSM-_VrRkig