#NationalNutritionWeek this year will focus on ‘Breastfeeding Practices” for greater infant health growth
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 03-Sep-2017
New Delhi, September 3: Every year during this time, Health Ministry observes National Nutrition Week from 1st September to 7th September. This year’s theme to the National Nutrition Week is “Optimal Infant and Young Child feeding practices”. During this period, a week-long campaign will be carried out to create mass awareness about the importance of appropriate nutrition in protection and promotion of health and wellbeing of children.

 
 
For promotion of Optimum IYCF practices, MoHFW has launched “MAA- Mothers’ Absolute Affection” programme to improve breastfeeding coverage and appropriate breastfeeding practices in the country. Around 3.7 lakhs ASHAs and around 82,000 healthworkers including programme managers at district and block level, doctors (MOs), staff nurses (SNs) and ANMs have been sensitized for breastfeeding promotion strategies.
 
 
Breastfeeding is an important, efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health. Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20% of the newborn deaths. Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pnuemonia and 11 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than children who are exclusively breastfed, which are two leading causes of death in children under-five years of age. In addition, children who were not breastfed are at increased risk for diabetes, obesity, allergies, asthma, childhood leukaemia, sudden infant death syndrome etc. Apart from mortality and morbidity benefits, breastfeeding also has tremendous impact on improved IQ.
 
The trend of breastfeeding has shown an upward trend. As per recent data, initial breastfeeding has been nearly doubled in last decade. i.e from 23.4% to 41.6%. However, there is further scope of improving initial breastfeeding rates considering the high proportion of institutional deliveries in the country.