food insecurity

In line with its strategy to reinforce the role of nutrition in fostering a healthy living, Abbott has supported a report developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit on the state of clinical nutrition in Pakistan. The report which was launched today has highlighted the challenges that the healthcare system has been facing in adapting appropriate nutrition programs and outlined the opportunities that lie ahead.

The report brings forward the main causes of the currently bleak situation, which consist of food insecurity, a dearth of nutritionists and dietitians and an insufficient awareness among people around the importance of nutrition, both in hospital and at home.

As per Lieutenant Commander Rabia Anwer, Vice President of the Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society (PNDS), there’s a lack of trained nutritionists and dietitians in Pakistan. “Most patients are not screened for malnutrition upon admission into hospital. As a result, many commence their stay facing a hurdle, and more than two thirds of those with malnutrition decline further during their stay. If afflicted patients were identified early on and provided with a suitable diet by a trained dietitian, then complications, length of stay, readmission rates, mortality and cost of care would all be reduced.” – Lieutenant Commander Rabia Anwer, Vice President of the Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society (PNDS)

“Nutrition is at the base of good health”, said Prof. Javed Akram, Vice Chancellor, University of Health Sciences, Lahore and founding President of the Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine. “Getting the important nutrients through an adequate nutrition is instrumental for people to grow and stay healthy at all stages of life. Among solutions that can remedy malnutrition and improve outcomes, are medically tailored meals, meal replacements and nutritional supplements.”

The report argues that a lack of nutritional knowledge among clinical staff in Pakistan is a persistent issue, and that giving the right food to patients is the simplest, safest, and cheapest way to provide nutritional care.