Strides Toward Health Equity in Pakistan

On June 8th, 2023, The United States and Pakistan held their second stand-alone U.S.- Pakistan Health Dialogue. The Federal Minister for Health Services, Abdul Qadir Patel, was joined by the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, and other dedicated leaders & officials from both countries to solidify their ongoing commitment and partnership to support Pakistan’s recovery from the 2022 floods. 

Ansir Junaid, Chairman and trustee of the Junaid Family Foundation, proudly supported this dialogue and signed the agreement of his commitment.  A significant part of this effort focuses on strengthening maternal and child health, something we at the Junaid Family Foundation are passionate about supporting. Through our multi-micronutrient supplement (MMS) program, JFF, in collaboration with Kirk Humanitarian, has committed to providing over two million bottles of supplements for pregnant women in areas of Pakistan impacted by the 2022 floods.  We are working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health of Pakistan to improve maternal and infant birth outcomes throughout Pakistan by supporting an update to country policy that will lead to the regular use of MMS as a part of standard antenatal care throughout the country. 

In Pakistan, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are a significant problem suffered by women of reproductive age and leads to increased risk of poor birth outcomes, including preterm birth, small for gestational age, increased infant mortality, and cognitive and physical developmental delay1. Challenges faced by these infants persist and can reduce education and employment opportunities throughout their lives1. MMS has been proven to be an effective and cost-efficient solution to improve birth outcomes for both the mother and child2. Continued partnerships and support like those between the Junaid Family Foundation and Pakistan’s Ministry of Health will advance us to our goal of health equity in the country.

The health and well-being of Pakistan’s mothers and their children are a reflection of what lies ahead for the country. The collective efforts of Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, and the Junaid Family Foundation will determine the course of that future. In our shared hope for a healthier, stronger Pakistan, let us stand united against the scourge of malnutrition.

 

  1. https://www.unicef.org/pakistan/media/4356/file/Pakistan%20Maternal%20Nutrition%20Strategy%202022-27.pdf
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29025632/

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