25th World Breastfeeding Week begins

Kathmandu, July 31

With the theme ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’, the 25th World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated from today.

Breastfeeding has direct impact on maternal and child health so it is essential for all lactating mothers, family members, communities and health workers to be aware of its importance. Keeping this in view, the Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health and Population is organising different awareness programmes for a week from today.

According to Raj Kumar Pokharel, the chief of nutrition section,Child Health Division, breastfeeding is the first immunisation for a newborn. Breastfeeding in the first hour of birth can prevent thousands of deaths. However, due to misconceptions and lack of awareness about breastfeeding, many mothers seem reluctant to breastfeed their babies.

As per the report of Child Health Division, published in 2016, around 66 per cent women breastfeed their children up to two years, 79.9 per cent women breastfeed up to one month, 72.2 per cent women breastfeed their children for 2 to 3 months, 40 per cent breastfeed for 4 to 5 months and only 6 per cent women breastfeed from  6 to 8 months. Around 55 per cent women breast feed their children within an hour after birth.

Speaking at a press meet organised at the DoHS, Rajendra Panta, director general  at the Department of Health Services, said the country had achieved success in controlling maternal and child mortality, but had failed to prevent untimely deaths of children. He further said every family, community and organisation should play an active role in supporting mothers to breastfeed their babies forbetter growth and healthy life.