Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) under the Citizen First project held a national advocacy conference titled “Status of Health and Nutrition in Sindh” on Friday here at a local hotel in Islamabad.
Mr. Riaz Hussain Wasan, the Additional Deputy Commissioner District Khairpur, Sindh, Mr. Naseer Memon the Chief Executive SPO and Ms Rabia Program Manager Citizen First project graced the event with their presence along with other guests from government, health departments, partner organizations and academia etc.
Mr. Wahid Sangrasi, the Program Specialist SPO welcomed the guests and shared the objectives of the conference in the light of the Citizen First project and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) . He said that the organization achieved its target due to its three-way strategy of creating linkage between the government and citizens, mass media campaign and revival of local wisdom viz-a-viz sufi raag, katchries, festivals like holi etc.
Different experts from various departments both government and non-government sector shared their findings and recommendations on the topic under discussion. The chief guest of the event Mr. Riaz Hussain the ADC khairpur appreciated the efforts of SPO regarding their advocacy and awareness campaigns in order to ameliorate the situation of health and nutrition in Sindh. He said that until and unless comprehensive economic and health policies and not made in Sindh, mere health emergency etc. would not suffice the need.
“Right to health should be made part of the article Right to Life and Liberty. All the stakeholders in Sindh including government departments, CSO’s, community, academia and media should be taken onboard in drafting an inclusive and workable health policy”, he remarked.
Mr. Naseer Memon while describing the worrisome situation of health and nutrition shared that in Pakistan more than 58 per cent population suffers malnutrition while 70 percent of the food is wasted. Also, Pakistan has signed about 27 covenants but only two indicators have been met till now. “We need to ponder upon this gruesome picture and accordingly work to document a comprehensive policy in this regard”, he added.
Mustafa Baloch, the regional head SPO Hyderabad while concluding the session with vote of thanks said that through this event we highlighted the issues of health and nutrition in Sindh and thus we recommend that health should be considered the fundamental right in the constitution like that of the article 25-A (Education for all).
It’s worth mentioning here that SPO has been implementing the project Citizen First in four districts of Sindh i.e. Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana and Shikarpur.