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Fighting anaemia, saving mothers

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Manesha_with_Mir_Chand_14m_PEDS_ward_Civil_Hospital_Mirpurkhas_05-22-2017DSC_0714_Compressed20 February 2018 – Findings of Pakistan's national nutrition survey 2012–2013 indicate that more than half of Pakistan’s population is anaemic. Anaemia reduces individuals’ well-being, causes fatigue and lethargy and impairs physical capacity and work performance. Moreover, anaemia during pregnancy increases the risk of death or illness in both mother and baby. 

From 7 to 8 February 2018, a 2-day national level anaemia reduction consultative workshop was organized by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, with the support of WHO. The workshop was attended by representatives of United Nations agencies, international nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations and academia. Concrete actions to reduce anaemia in Pakistan were identified in line with WHO recommended interventions to prevent anaemia.

Participants looked at a detailed situation analysis of anaemia in Pakistan which addressed prevalence, distribution and its main causes, efforts to reduce anaemia and proposed actions to significantly reduce prevalence. Participants shared experiences and best practices in nutrition. 

As a next step, provincial departments of health will identify province-specific action points for policy uptake and implementation towards reducing anaemia according to the targets set by the World Health Assembly in 2012 – to reduce anaemia rates by half between 2012 and 2025 in women of reproductive age. As part of efforts these efforts, an anaemia reduction action framework for Pakistan is being developed. 

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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 189 900
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 4.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 178
Primary health care centres and units (per 10 000 population) 0.5
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 66.4

Source: Country statistical profiles 2016

Pakistan country health profile

Regional Health Observatory

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