Assam observes World Breastfeeding Day

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Jorhat (Assam), Aug 5 (ANI): To observe the World Breastfeeding Day, hundreds of women led by health workers and allied volunteers here took part in a public meeting and rally to spread mass awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding babies.

The rally with messages heralded through banners, covered most of the rural and other important places.

"We have started one rally to create public awareness amongst the public in general to have the early breastfeeding after the delivery. It should be explained to the public in general so that public accept it. It is the call given by the UNICEF also," said Dhiren Das, sub-divisional magistrate of Bhagchung.

As the organisers of this workshop and rally noted, such a rally is of prime importance since the World Health Organisation (WHO) had observed that teaching new mothers how to breastfeed could save 1.3 million children's lives every year whereas many women get no help and give up trying.

Earlier, more than 500 health workers and volunteers attended a workshop that was addressed by experts.

The WHO recommends that babies start breastfeeding within one hour of their birth, and ingest only breast milk for the first six months, avoiding water and other drinks and foods.

This can give children vital nutrients and strengthen their immune system to fight diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. Formula milk does not provide the same immunity and local water can be contaminated or unsafe in many parts of the world.

In a statement released to mark World Breastfeeding Week, observed between 1 and 7 August, WHO said it was also important that mothers in disaster zones be given the support they need to continue or restart breastfeeding. (ANI)

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