The Doctors Without Borders/MSF has expressed concern at the alarming trend in Dera Murad Jamali, Baluchistan – Pakistan, where many children are suffering from malnutrition due to lack of breast feeding.
Malnutrition is also being further caused by poor health seeking behaviour, unsafe drinking water and unhygienic practices in the area.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in Dera Murad Jamali say the reason why some women do not breastfeed is because often mothers are working in the field and they can’t invest as much time in caring for their children while others do not know how to do it properly leading to malnutrition.
“Many mothers do not breastfeed, or do not know how to do it properly, and often babies are instead fed black tea, herbs, or powdered milk prepared in an unhygienic way”. Dr. Tufail Ahmad, MSF doctor working at the nutrition programme in Dera Murad Jamali in Pakistan.
Malnutrition is one of the major child health issues in Pakistan, especially among children under five years old. According to Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13, around 45% of children show evidence of chronic malnutrition or stunting and 11% are acutely malnourished requiring urgent treatment.
In the districts of Naseerabad and Jaffarabad, of the 19,138 children screened by MSF at its three health facilities, 2,259 (an equivalent of over 11%) were severely malnourished. This ratio is alarming, and the concern is that the number is increasing every day.
At another MSF project in Dera Murad Jamali, Baluchistan, MSF teams treat nearly 10,000 malnourished children each year.