LAHORE: Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department has decided to establish stabilisation centres at district headquarters hospitals and Tehsil headquarters hospitals to treat malnourished children, Daily Times learnt. According to a survey, as many as 39 percent of children are too short for their age while 30 percent are underweight and 14 percent suffer from acute malnutrition. Sources said food insecurity, maternal undernutrition, disease and illness, inadequate health services and lack of awareness about feeding and healthcare practices are the main reasons for malnutrition in children. Punjab is the biggest province of Pakistan; the survey revealed that about 40.5% of the households are food secure while 59.5% are food insecure of those that were food insecure 32.2 % were food insecure without hunger, 18.5 % were food insecure with moderate hunger and 8.8% were food insecure with severe hunger. The sources said the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department is working to reduce infant and child mortality rate in Punjab. Severe malnutrition is one of the most common causes of children morbidity and mortality worldwide. Many severely malnourished children die at home without care, but even when hospital care is provided, case fatality rates are high. The department has established OTP centres at BHUs, RHCs, THQs and DHQs in 26 districts to treat severally malnourished children. The malnourished children with complications need to be treated according to WHO criteria at the stabilisation centres. Department for international development (DFID) is providing financial and technical support to reduce maternal and child malnutrition. The donor’s support is linked with performance.