The Aga Khan Universitys' Institute for Global Health and Development, in collaboartion with the Health Department, Government of Sindh; Policy and Strategic Planning Unit, Government of Punjab; Trust for Vaccine and Immunisation (TVI); and Mother and Child Care Research (MccR) conducted a large scale survey in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, to assess the health, nutrition, and lifestyle of school-aged children 5 to 9.9 years of age. The study also assessed the association of health and nutritional status with sociodemographic factors (wealth, food insecurity, maternal education and gender), setting (rural vs. urban), in-school vs. out-of-school, and child health (anemia, nutrition status and dietary intake). This survey highlights the burden of malnutrition, dietary and meal patterns, sanitation and hygiene practices, schooling in children living in urban and rural areas of the two provinces in Pakistan. It suggests implementation of large integrated programs to improve health and nutrition outcomes among children, especially who live in the rural areas of Sindh and Punjab. It also suggests need of interventions to improve school attendance and quality education and the development of a comprehensive school health and nutrition program focusing on multitude of issues and including life skills development, health and nutrition education and optimum lifestyle and education behaviors.

References

  1. Kassebaum N, Kyu HH, Zoeckler L, Olsen HE, Thomas K, Pinho C, et al. Child and Adolescent Health From 1990 to 2015: Findings From the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2015 Study. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(6):573-92.

  2. WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNWomen, The World Bank Group. Survive, Thrive, Transform. Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health: 2018 report on progress towards 2030 targets. Geneva: World Health Organization (2018). (WHO/FWC/18.20). Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

  3. Caleyachetty R, Thomas GN, Kengne AP, Echouffo-Tcheugui JB, Schilsky S, Khodabocus J, et al. The double burden of malnutrition among adolescents: analysis of data from the Global School-Based Student Health and Health Behavior in School-Aged Children surveys in 57 lowand middle-income countries. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;108(2):414-24.

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