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Govt asks states to launch awareness campaign for breast-feeding

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 5 (UNI) The Centre has asked state governments to launch awareness programmes on the lines of Polio campaign to emphasise the need of optimal breast-feeding for the overall development of infants.

Addressing a Regional Workshop on Promoting Child survival, Nutrition and Health by achieving optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding practices (IYCP) here today, Secretary, Women and Child Development Reva Nayyar said her Ministry had issued guidelines on breast-feeding last month.

She said breast-feeding alone can reduce infant mortality rate by almost 13 per cent and complementary feeding by another six per cent.

''Mother's milk is not only the best food for the child but it ensures good health throughout the life,''she added.

Stressing the need for women literacy, Ms Nayyar said with increasing urbanisation, breaking down of joint family system and aggressive media campaign of processed weaning foods milk formulae, breast-feeding and complementary feeding are always under attack.

''Even if the mother with primary pregnancy is convinced to adopt early initiation and exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months, she needs skilled support at various points so as to solve the problems encountered during breast-feeding, remove misconceptions created by superstitious beliefs and reinforce the importance of breast-feeding for both the mother and the baby.

The workshop, organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, discussed the issue of sensitisation of various stakeholders on the importance of achieving optimal IYCF.

She stressed the need for sharing state level models of capacity building on IYCF in Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Haryana. The workshop was attended by representatives of the UNESCO, state governments, medical experts and Non Government Organisations.

UNI AJ AK KN1614

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