• December 11, 2023

The Youth of Pakistan: Assets or Catalysts for the Demise of a Nation?

Pakistan may be survived this time of economic and domestic crises, but overcoming stunting and without preparation, no chance to survive.

Imran Khan was elected as prime minister of Pakistan, (3, 2022) his first speech as a pm was destroyed by the opposition, and his first appearance the first time on a national level indicate a real threat to Pakistan’s future,

Pakistan is among those 5 countries in which most of the children die before the age of 5 by contaminated water.

Pakistan is the top 5 countries in the world where the rate of female mortality is critically high.

We are among the top 5 countries in the world where children die because of malnutrition resulting in stunted growth. I have been telling people till today, but people have not understood*.

What does "stunting of brain" mean?

Stunting in children refers to a condition where their growth and development are hindered, causing them to be shorter than their peers.

It is typically caused by inadequate nutrition, especially during the early years of life. Stunting can have long-term effects on a child’s physical and mental well-being, leading to difficulties in learning, lower immunity, and increased risk of diseases.

A review of the most pertinent scenarios has been conducted. Pakistan has a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 17.7 per cent, exceeding the emergency threshold.


Stunting Growth: Hindering Brain Development

Brain development in infants is particularly sensitive to their nutritional intake from mid-gestation through the first two years of life.

To prevent stunting, it is crucial to provide children with a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Regular check-ups and early intervention can also help identify and address any growth issues in children.

Children who don’t get enough food and protein during an important time of childhood don’t grow properly, both in their bodies and their minds.

Their brains end up being smaller than normal because they don’t develop enough connections, the protective covering around nerve cells is reduced, and there are fewer supporting cells that help with brain development

Some major causes

1- Specifically a lack of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals, is a major contributor. Insufficient minerals and nutritious food, especially during the critical early years, can stain brain development.

2-Infections and diseases, such as chronic illnesses or repeated infections, can also impact brain growth and function.

3-Environmental factors like exposure to toxins, poor sanitation, and inadequate stimulation can hinder cognitive development.

Additionally, socio-economic factors like poverty, limited access to education, and inadequate healthcare can exacerbate the risk of stunting in children’s brains. 

Understanding the Link Inadequate Nutrition and Smaller Brains

The slow development of the brain explains why people who experience poor nutrition in childhood often have long-lasting problems with their behavior and thinking. They may have trouble with talking and a delay in learning motor skills like learning to use their hands, have lower intelligence, and do not do well in school.

As a result, these children learn less than average, leading to them earning less. Additionally, their abilities in critical thinking and problem-solving are called into question.

Prevelence and Severity

A highly comprehensive study was conducted in Punjab in 2014, revealing alarming facts. The study underwent multiple consecutive reviews, yet it was not regarded as a national-level issue.

According to the study, the prevalence of stunting in children can be categorized into two main groups. Approximately 27.4% of children were moderately stunted, while around 10% suffered from severe stunting making an overall ratio of 37.4%.

In 2019, Pakistan accounted for 6% of the world’s stunting cases, placing it in the third position globally. UNICEF. (2019).

By 2020, the percentage of stunted children had increased to 46%.

A thorough analysis of the most relevant scenarios has been carried out, highlighting that Pakistan’s global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate stands at 17.7%, surpassing the emergency threshold.

Currently, Pakistan Stands far beyond red lines at 55%.2

Stunting prevalence Findings
Significant risk factors Age of the child, birth order, being female, smaller size at birth, episodes of diarrhea, breastfeeding, mother and father education, and household wealth status
Gender disparity Girls had 27% higher odds of being severely stunted and 14% moderately stunted compared to boys
Age-related risk The risk of stunting and severe stunting increased with the age of the child
Household factors Rural residence, smaller size at birth, and lower parental education were associated with higher likelihood of stunting
Regional differences Rawalpindi had lower stunting prevalence compared to other divisions. Lahore division were twice as likely to be stunted.
SanitationImproved sanitation facilities were associated with a lower likelihood of stunting

Average height of Pakistanis, has fallen 4 inches over 50 years

Research shows poor nutrition is causing a decline in average height in Pakistan. A reduction of 4 inches was witnessed in the last 50 years.

We can easily compile an opinion after a close look at the geography of which countries with dark colors. 

Average height is directly linked with the country’s progress and people’s living standards.

comparission average of the world from 1950 - 2000
Dark areas showing an increse in height

Pakistan's race against time, Time is on lead.

The federal government of Pakistan also showing some interest and higher authorities are pleased to plan, spending 312 million in 67 districts.  in which Rs 162 billion is allocated for procuring nutrition sachets and the provinces would pay Rs 150 billion in salaries. (2021) (Tribune)

The project was designed for 2023 to 2030, in current economic scenario it’s impossible. 

There are several pieces of research conducted by different organizations that resulted in a reduction in Stunting results in an increase in Gdp

Challenges to Confront for a Brighter Future in Pakistan

In conclusion, Pakistan’s struggle with incompetence is prominent in recent studies conducted in the UK. These studies indicate a decline in children’s ability to problem solve and exhibit critical thinking patterns. What is even more surprising is that areas with a majority Pakistani population also affect other communities, and a decline in ability is observed.

Pakistani individuals are often found in low-profile jobs, such as taxi driving and labor, worldwide.

The government and the people of Pakistan need to focus on these factors to make Pakistan better and safer. These include:

1. The Educational System of Pakistan.

2. Economic Inequality.

3. Skill Development.

4. A Practical and Applicable Syllabus.

5. Ensuring Quality and Quantity of Food for mothers and children.

6. Personal Hygiene.

7. Availability of Clean Drinking Water.

8. Addressing the Issue of Non-School-Going Children.

un employment rate of Pakistan
Image source: statista

When assets converted to Catalysis

In Pakistan, the fifth largest country in the world, approximately 37.54% of the population relies on agriculture. As a result, Pakistan is still had to import wheat and other food items every year.

Literacy rate in Pakistan is currently 62.3%, which means that about 60 million people in the country are unable to read and write. In 2019, the literacy rate was slightly lower at 58%. Comparing this to neighboring countries, Sri Lanka has a high literacy rate of 92.25%, Myanmar is at 89.07%, Bangladesh at 74.68%, the Philippines at 96.28%, and Uzbekistan has achieved a 100% literacy rate. Even India, which is Pakistan’s rival, has a literacy rate of 77.7% in 2022.

Another shocking fact is, the literacy rates for males and females are between 58% and 70%. Additionally, a significant number of students aged 5-16, approximately 22 million, are still out of school, which is 44% of the total population. 

And the standard of literacy is” Read and Write“. 

While the rest of the world is embracing the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI), even in developed nations, people are actively pursuing skill development to adapt to the changing job landscape. Failure to do so may render them unemployed.

Also Read: futuristic technologies are going to transform the future.

In Pakistan, the “Youth” is particularly affected by a lack of access to quality education, possessing no skills and no moral and ethical values, an increasingly higher unemployment rate, and in the end extremism.

Country’s biggest chunk f population left hopeless, made them believe that no law and order can deliver justice.

This youth of Pakistan is going to suffocate this country in near future. Pakistan needs no enemies.

This unfortunate reality stifles the country’s progress, as those in positions of power may prioritize other pressing matters over addressing these issues.

Do you think “Pakistan can survive?”

Reference &Resources

González-Fernández, Doris, et al. “Infections and nutrient deficiencies during infancy predict impaired growth at 5 years: Findings from the MAL-ED study in Pakistan.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 10 1104654. 17 Feb. 2023, doi:10.3389/fnut.2023.1104654.

ᴰᵒʷⁿˡᵒᵃᵈ ʳᵉˢᵒᵘʳᶜᵉˢ ᶠʳᵒᵐ ᵗʰᵉˢᵉ ˡᶦⁿᵏˢ ᶠᵒʳ ᶠʳᵉᵉ, ᵃⁿᵈ ᶜᵒⁿᵗᵃᶜᵗ ᵗʰᵉ ᵒʷⁿᵉʳ ᶠᵒʳ ᶜᵒᵐᵐᵉʳᶜᶦᵃˡ ᵘˢᵉ. ᶠᵒʳ ᵐᵒʳᵉ ᵛᶦˢᶦᵗ:ᴰᶦˢᶜˡᵃᶦᵐᵉʳ
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