Health

US-Based Philanthropist Pledges to Send Vitamins for Pakistani Mothers

A US-based businessman and philanthropist, Ansir Junaid, has pledged to send one million bottles of multi-nutrition food vitamin supplements for pregnant women in Pakistan who lack appropriate nutrition.

Junaid made the announcement at the Pakistan High Commission in London, where he was accompanied by Pakistan’s Caretaker Health Minister Dr Jan Mahmood. They were invited by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Dr Muhammad Faisal, who also hosted other doctors who attended a global summit on health organised by the UK government.

Dr Faisal praised the role of Pakistani entrepreneurs and overseas doctors in supporting the state health system in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan needed more doctors and charities to provide quality medical care to the people.

Dr Mahmood, who attended the Global Food Security Summit in London, appreciated Junaid’s donation but said that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with the charities to set up pharmaceutical plants in Pakistan to produce such nutrition locally for the local as well as export consumption.

Junaid said that he was making the donation of Multi-Micronutrient Supplements (MMS) through the Junaid Family Foundation and Kirk Humanitarian, both non-profit organisations dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations with a focus on women and children.

He said that he had already shipped 136,000 bottles to Pakistan and another one million bottles for flood relief. He said that he was ready to send another million bottles before the end of the year for Pakistan. He said that these products were approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and were Halal certified. He said that the first shipment would leave for Pakistan within a week.

He said that he was committed to projects such as the food bank, refugee settlement, gender equity and healthcare from his hometown in Ohio to Pakistan. He said that his biggest and most important project was in partnership with Kirk Humanitarian, where he had been able to improve maternal and infant health in Pakistan through the MMS program.

He said that so far, one million bottles of UNIMMAP MMS had arrived in Pakistan earlier this year and were currently distributed within two of the three target provinces. He said that up to an additional two million bottles of MMS had been pledged, with future shipments in process. He said that he hoped to continue to bring positive change through a sustainable approach. He said that he had achieved another important milestone of starting transfer of knowledge to manufacture MMS in Pakistan. He said that he would create an export market which would help the economy.

He said that traditionally, iron and folic acid were available for pregnant women in developing countries which led to low birth rates and maternal and infant mortality. He said that he believed that every woman had access to the nutrients she needed, regardless of where she lived in the world. He said that that was why he was focused on changing the health guidelines in Pakistan to MMS (multiple micronutrient supplements).

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