Breastfeeding Week programmes planned

Health workers in Karnataka would conduct frequent door-to-door visits for the first six months post-childbirth educating women about the importance of breastfeeding. (File Photo)

Health workers in Karnataka would conduct frequent door-to-door visits for the first six months post-childbirth educating women about the importance of breastfeeding.

This is being done as part of the World Breastfeeding Week programme. This year, the theme for Breastfeeding Week to empower parents and enable breastfeeding. The health department will also organise awareness programmes at hospitals to educate mothers about the importance of breastfeeding. 

According to the department, breastfeeding is inadequately being adopted in India, as only 55% of newborn babies are exclusively breastfed up to six months (from birth) and 41% are able to begin breastfeeding within an hour of birth. Annually, inadequate breastfeeding results in 1,00,000 preventable child deaths (mainly due to diarrhoea and pneumonia), 34.7 Million cases of diarrhoea, 2.4 Million cases of pneumonia and 40,382 cases of obesity in India, according to an official release by the department.

According to the National Family Health Survey, only 56.3 % of children are breastfed within one hour of birth and just 54.2 % are exclusively breastfed up to six months in Karnataka.

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