The Shikarpur Bachayo Tehreek (SBT) on Sunday organised an emergent meeting to discuss mega corruption in the health department, incompetency of municipal committees and deteriorating law and order situation in Shikarpur. Reportedly, SBT’s representatives expressed grave concerns over the issues including poor performance of police, health department and municipal committees. They asserted that health department had failed to provide essential healthcare facilities to people while accusing its officers of committing corruption. They further claimed that municipal committees had failed to take effective measures for cleanliness in the district and feared spread of infectious diseases from uncollected piles of trash and stagnant sewage on many roads. “Despite lapse of five days of Muharram, the district administration has failed to work effectively,” they said, adding that they wrote separate letters to concerned officers urging them to resolve their issues or otherwise, SBT would raise its voice against ‘injustice’ on all available platforms. Meanwhile, a prominent advocate Ali Asghar Pahore said that if the issues were not addressed by concerned officers, he would take up them before the court of law in order to protect interests of people. Besides, SBT Chairman Mian Zafar Alvi, SBT Secretary Ali Ahmed Buriro, Asadullah Soomro, Prof Parkash Lal, Abdul Wahab Kagzi and Zahid Bhanbhro were also present in the meeting. Journalists urged to raise PINS awareness amongst people to reduce malnutrition A one-day orientation training programme for journalists was organised by the EU-Programme for Improved Nutrition in Sindh (PINS) at its headquarter where journalists from Shikarpur, Larkana and Qambar-Shahdadkot participated to spread awareness regarding malnutrition and improving the nutritional status of children under the age of five and of pregnant women. Reportedly, the EU-funded programme aims to reduce the stunting rate of malnutrition in children from the existing 48 percent to 40 percent by 2021 in Sindh. In this regard, the programme corresponded to the second target indicator of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2). Meanwhile, Communication Officer Rabab Jaffar informed journalists that the PINS has launched a four-year programme in collaboration with Sindh Government’s multi-sectoral Accelerated Action Plan (AAP) which focuses on building the capacities of the government for an effective implementation of its multi-sectoral nutrition policy while providing direct assistance in order to significantly and rapidly reduce the problem of malnutrition in rural Sindh. PINS will implement the programme using social mobilisation approach through the support of the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) endorsed by the Sindh Government. The component focuses on nutrition sensitive interventions which will help create improved WASH infrastructures, implement climate-smart agriculture and strengthen food security in rural Sindh with an active participation by native communities in a sustainable manner. Knowledge Management and Reporting Officer Safina Abbas told the participants that the expected results of programs are reducing stunting in children under age 5 from 50 percent to 45 percent, reduce prevalence of wasting in children under age 5 from 18 percent to 13 percent and reduce prevalence of Anaemia in pregnant women from 60 percent to 50 percent, decrease in prevalence of diarrhea in children under age 5 from 28 percent to 18 percent, increase in target population using safely managed drinking water sources by 50 percent, increase in target population using an appropriate water treatment method from 13 percent to 30 percent, increase in target population using an improved sanitation facility from 38 percent to 60 percent, increase in target population using a specific place for hand washing with water and soap from 41 percent to 60 percent, increase in mothers/care-givers who practice hand-washing before feeding children by 50 percent, increase in expenditure on a minimum of four food groups (other than staples) by target households by 20 percent, increase in consumption of 5+ (out of 10) food groups by women between 15-49 years from 27 percent to 40 percent, increase in consumption of minimum acceptable diet by children under age 2 from 13 percent to 30 percent. Published in Daily Times, September 17th 2018.