Breastfeeding Current Affairs - 2019

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Manipur tops in Breastfeeding, Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices

Northeastern state of Manipur has topped rankings in Breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in India. The report card on Breastfeeding was released by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister. Union Heath Minister also appealed influential personality on social media to spread message of benefits of breastfeeding to masses.

Key Highlights of Report Card

Low Performing State in country: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar secured bottom positions in report card. Delhi, National capital of India is also among worst-performing States.

Breastfeeding report card has been developed by devising a composite score based on 3 indicators

  1. Early initiation of breastfeeding
  2. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months
  3. Complimentary feeding at 6-8 months of child’s age

Facts about Breastfeeding, Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices

As per Convention on the Rights of the Child, every infant and child has right to good nutrition.

World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 1st 6 months and breastfeeding with home-made food for minimum 2 years.

Undernutrition is associated with 45% of child deaths.

In 2016, 155 million children under 5 year of age were estimated to be stunted (too short for age), 52 million were estimated to be wasted (too thin for height), and 41 million were overweight (or obese), globally.

Nearly 40% of infants 0–6 months old are exclusively breastfed.

Globally, few children receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods.

In many countries less than a fourth (25%) of infants 6–23 months of age meet criteria of dietary diversity and feeding frequency that are appropriate for their age.

Benefits

Every year more than 820000 children’s lives could be saved among children under 5 years, if all children 0–23 months were optimally breastfed.

Breastfeeding improves IQ, school attendance and is also associated with higher income in adult life.

Breastfeeding not only saves child from being malnourished but also saves mother from breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Stanpan Suraksha app launched to promote breastfeeding

The Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launched ‘Stanpan Suraksha’ mobile application to promote breastfeeding and keep a tab on “inappropriate” promotion of baby food items.

The mobile application has been developed by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI).

Key Facts
  • Stanpan Suraksha is first-of-its-kind app deveopled for promoting breastfeeding and baby food promotion reporting mechanism.
  • Using it any person can click a photograph of inappropriate baby food promotion around them and related equipment and send it to BPNI.
  • The app also has a city-wise database of trained breastfeeding counsellor to educate and provide assistance to mothers during antenatal and postnatal period.
  • It has sign up option for mothers who wish to become a breastfeeding counsellor, pledging for petition and donation.
  • It aims to become instrumental in gathering incremental evidence to report on promotion of baby foods from remote locations.
What is the issue?

Undermining of the breastfeeding practices is rampant in the country mainly due to cultural barriers and myths associated with breastfeeding. 79% of the babies are delivered in institutions, out of which only 45% given breastmilk in the first hour. To address this problem Union Government had launched MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection) programme.