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Pakistani-American businessman donates 1m vitamin bottles for pregnant women

Pakistan’s caretaker health minister Dr Jan Mahmood, Pakistan High commissioner to the UK Dr Mohammad Faisal and Ansir Junaid. — Author

LONDON: Pakistani-American businessman Ansir Junaid has announced plans to send one million bottles of multi-nutrition food vitamin supplements for pregnant women who lack appropriate nutrition.

Accompanied by Pakistan’s Caretaker Health Minister Dr Jan Mahmood, Junaid announced his donation at Pakistan High Commission in London. The businessman was invited by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Dr Muhammad Faisal along with other doctors who were in London to attend a global summit on health organised by the UK government.

Dr Faisal welcomed the delegates and said Pakistani entrepreneurs and overseas doctors were playing a huge role in relieving the pressure off the state health system in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan needed more doctors and charities to come forward to provide quality medical care to people in Pakistan.

Dr Jan Mahmood, who was in London to attend the Global Food Security Summit, appreciated the 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 a donation of Multi-Micronutrient Supplements (MMS) through the Junaid Family Foundation and Kirk Humanitarian. Both are non-profit organisations dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations with a focus on women and children.

“First we shipped 136,000 bottles to Pakistan and then one million bottles for flood relief. We are ready to send another million bottles before the end of the year for Pakistan. These products are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Halal approved. The first shipment will leave for Pakistan within a week,” said the businessman.

“From our hometown in Ohio to Pakistan we are committed to projects such as the food bank, refugee settlement, gender equity and healthcare. Our biggest and most important project is in partnership with Kirk Humanitarian where we have been able to improve maternal and infant health in Pakistan through our MMS program.”

He added: “So far, 1 million bottles of UNIMMAP MMS, arrived in Pakistan earlier this year and are currently distributed within two of the three target provinces. Up to an additional 2 million bottles of MMS have been pledged, with future shipments in process. We hope to continue to bring positive change through a sustainable approach. We have achieved another important milestone of starting transfer of knowledge to manufacture MMS in Pakistan. We will create an export market which will help the economy.

“Traditionally, iron and folic acid is available for pregnant women in developing countries which leads to low birth rates and maternal and infant mortality. We believe every woman has access to the nutrients she needs, regardless of where she lives in the world. That’s why we are focused on changing the health guidelines in Pakistan to MMS (multiple micronutrient supplements).”

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