ISLAMABAD: Other day WHO Pakistan, the Nutrition Wing of the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSRC) and Heartfile co-hosted a ‘National Advocacy Seminar on Creating Enabling Environment for Elimination of Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) from Pakistan’.
Dr. Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan, mentioned some important policy goals with regard to TFA elimination -to eliminate all industrially produced TFAs from the food supply, to educate people about TFAs and food pack labelling. He said that 58% of the deaths in this country are due to NCDs which can be brought down by TFA elimination. WHO representative, DrPalitha also said that WHO, is pleased that parliamentarians as one voice pledged to support elimination of trans fatty acids from Pakistan in this seminar. In this context, he promised that WHO is fully committed to support the elimination of trans fatty acids and will extend technical assistance in drafting necessary legislation in particular training of parliamentarians around drafting legislations around it.
Dr. Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh, Regional Director Nutrition, WHO- EMRO highlighted global and regional best practices on trans-fatelimination. He sensitized the audience on the NCD burden of disease in the country, harmful effects of TFA, and outlined the steps for elimination of TFA, that would lead from policy to implementation. He specially emphasized food labelling protocols implementation to sensitize the general public of what they are eating.
Dr. ShandanaGulzar Khan, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Commerce and Trade, emphasized the importance of having clear policy guidelines, when talking to stakeholders involved in TFA elimination. She mentioned that the Ministry of Commerce is in contact with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and related industries to ban the production of TFAs.