43pc female RMG workers suffering from malnutrition

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Speakers in a programme on Tuesday said that about 43 per cent female workers in readymade garments (RMG) sector are victim of malnutrition, reports news agency UNB.

A large number of workers at different industries are suffering from malnutrition, they said.

Malnutrition can reduce the working capacity and productivity by 20 per cent while it is very important to ensure nutritious foods for the workers for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they added.

They said this while addressing a sensitisation meeting titled ‘Strengthening Workers’ Access to Pertinent Nutrition Opportunities (SWAPNO)’ at City Inn Hotel in Khulna, said a press release.

Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE) and Department of Labour in association with Switzerland-based ‘Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)’ organised the programme.

State minister for labour and employment Begum Monnujan Sufian attended the programme as the chief guest, while Khulna City Corporation mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque was the special guest.

Labour department director general AKM Mizanur Rahman, DIFE joint inspector general (health) Md Mustafizur Rahman, GAIN country director Rudaba Khondker and Khulna divisional commissioner Ismiel Hossain also spoke at the programme.

GAIN portfolio lead Moniruzzaman Bipul presented the keynote.

In her speech, Begum Monnujan Sufian said the government is committed to facing the challenge of malnutrition as it causes economic losses, hampering the national development.

The minister further said it is urgent to give attention to the issue of implementation of Plan of Action (2021 and 2041) and ensuring nutritious foods for the workers for achieving SDGs.

She called for providing nutritious foods for workers at their work places along with raising awareness on nutrition for achieving the SDGs.

She called upon those who are engaged in production, processing, supplying and marketing of foods to consider the matter of nutrition.

The programme was informed that ensuring required nutrition among the workers can increase the national productivity by up to 20 per cent. Only anaemia caused by iron deficiency among the workers is responsible for reducing productivity worth US$ 5 billion in many South Asian countries.

Other speakers stressed on forming an alliance aimed at bringing sustainable and positive change relating to nutrition in the country.