Breastfeed infants to reduce malnutrition risk, say experts

Kathmandu, August 4

Nutritional experts have suggested to new mothers to breastfeed their newborns to reduce the risk of malnutrition.

At an interaction programme organised here, Dr Rajendra Panta, director general, Department of Health Services, said, “Thousands of children will be saved annually if the children are breastfed. Breast milk is the primary source of nutrition for the newborns.”

World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated from August 1 to 7 across the globe with the theme ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’.

Infants need to be provided nutrition for their complete growth. Breast milk is rich in vitamin, carbohydrate, protein and minerals and has protective antibodies. “It helps increase immunity by neutralising bacteria and viruses. It also helps reduce neonatal deaths by reducing the risk of diarrhoea and malnutrition,” informed Raj Kumar Pokharel, chief of Nutrition Section at Child Health Division, Teku.

“Infants gain proper height and weight if they eat nutritious food. Mothers must breastfeed their child as breast milk is rich in nutrition,” advised Pradhumna Dahal, nutrition expert, UNICEF.

As per a data provided by Department of Health Services, only 66 per cent of infants in the country are exclusively breastfed.