Headline April 03, 2017/ ''' STUDENTS -MY LORD- STUDENTS '''


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*PROUD PAKISTAN*, IS  A VERY POOR COUNTRY. Almost forty percent, yes, 40% of the population lives at or below the poverty line.

Attempts at poverty alleviation have been marginally successful but still enough poverty exists even in a relatively  'prosperous'  Punjab. 

And as long as there is poverty, there will be  problems that will encompass and then get to  lead  to the 'stunting' of children.

Stunting in  children/students    is due to many reasons but the most obvious are mothers in poor health that cannot  properly breastfeed the infant, general malnutrition, and then certain diseases that prevent children from being able to consume and retain nutrition [food].

At the most basic, childhood stunting  occurs in children that are not properly breastfed.

In the past,  -the most well recognised form of  stunting was what was called- ''cretinism''  This was almost always due to inadequate [iodine' in the diet of the mother leading to below normal function of her thyroid gland,

This then lead to below normal function of the thyroid gland of  the newborn child leading to stunted development or cretinism. 

This problem has essentially been eradicated by the addition of iodine in dietary salt and medical treatment in young children with cretinism.

Some of you great students,  will remember,  that a few months ago 'micronutrients' in diet were the healthcare flavour of the month. Iodine is exactly that sort if an essential micronutrient or trace element.

*For most of my adult life as a political liberal,* states Professor  Dr. Syed Mansoor Hussain/King Edward Medical University, I have believed that the state has a responsibility to provide its citizens with certain basic safeguards and amenities.

In a modern world these safeguards include appropriate healthcare and adequate food at all stages in life, and things like decent housing, basic education and job opportunities.

But it all starts with proper healthcare for a pregnant woman and then for the newborn child.

Here again every so often the government, say the provincial Punjab government, makes big press announcements about addressing the problem of  ''maternal and childcare''. 

Clearly any and all attempts at improving the present dismal death among mothers during delivery of a child and that of the child soon after birth [maternal and infant mortality] are laudable goals. But the problem as always the same.   
There is just not enough money to make such efforts uniformly successful, 

Sadly, in spite of all protestations to the contrary, healthcare is not a priority for this government nor has it been for previous government. As the old saying goes, money talks.

No, I do not wish to put the entire blame on any government irrespective of the political party it represents.

So, in sensible summing, a healthy mother that knows how to breastfeed is the first and the best protection against stunting of the offspring. 

Interestingly, many investigations of stunting in children found that these children were not being properly and  adequately breastfeed because their mothers just did not know how to and or did not do it for long enough.

The second obvious cause of stunting is ongoing malnutrition in a child. Here poverty plays a vital role. To simply matters, adequate nutrition includes three basic things.

Adequate calories, a balanced diet made up of different food groups like proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and appropriate micronutrients [vitamins and minerals]. And to have all these things to eat requires enough money to buy all these things.

The third recognised cause of stunting is water borne diseases like gastro-entertis [gastro] that makes it difficult, if not impossible for the child to retain the food  that is consumed.

Clean drinking water is the obvious way to avoid the spread of such diseases. 

Almost every day, for the last many years, we have heard of a  'new' initiative launched by the government, say Punjab government, to provide clean drinking water during the last nine years, had been successful, new initiatives would not be needed.

I don't know if this persistent failure to provide clean drinking water throughout the province is due to lack of adequate financial inputs or due to bad governance.

All the same, and thanks, Sir! Thanks, Professor!

The Honour and Serving of the  latest  'Operational research' on Life, Living and Students continues.  In best public interest, please,  share this research with everybody 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter........!E-WOW!   -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Policy & Power '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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