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Importance of breastfeeding stressed


MANGALDAI, Aug 10 - �Stanapane diye amar sishuk saakti, sakalo rogar pora sishuk diye mukti�, �Stanapan korale sishuwe sakalo khadyai paai, ee diye sishuk shhu shasthyar upai,�� these were some of the selected slogans in the slogan writing contest organised by MAMTA-HIMC, Darrang under project MANCH of ITC Mission �SunehraKal� among the village women folk befitting the World Breastfeeding Week that concluded on Tuesday. The non-government organisation celebrated the week with a slew of programmes in four interventional GPs of the district viz., Chapai, Chamuaprara, Dahi and Ramhari.

Based on the theme, �Breastfeeding, the foundation of life� and with the objective of creating awareness among the target beneficiaries as well as the community, the MAMTA-HIMC, Darrang with the cooperation of the Health department, ICDS, PRI arranged many programmes to sensitize community on importance of mother�s milk and how it can reduce risk of sudden infant deaths (SIDs) through speech, postering, distribution of leaflets, displaying handmade pamphlet on breastfeeding, audio-visual presentation, slogan writing competition and audio announcements for mass awareness among the community. This was stated in a press release by MAMTA-HIMC, Darrang.

Several community-level meetings were held where stakeholders including ANM, anganwadi supervisors, ASHA, AWW, and teachers were present. Experienced ANM, anganwadi supervisors, AWW like Hasina Begum, Minmoyee Mamta and Bhantima Deka respectively discussed the scientific techniques and necessary posture for proper breastfeeding. They, in their speeches, expressed concern over the fact that exclusive breastfeeding is not being practised properly by some lactating mothers leading to some bad effects on the health of a newborn.

Participating in the events, officials of the MAMTA including Kangkan Kumar Saikia, Program Associate, MAMTA-HIMC, Darrang, Varnali Barman, Finance Coordinator and Basanta Kumar Nath, MIS Coordinator dwelt at length on the benefits of breastfeeding for both the child and the mother. They said, �Mother�s milk is consumed immediately by the baby and helps the baby to have balanced nutrition and it also works as a natural contraceptive. Many working women do not exercise breastfeeding for their babies exclusively and it increases the chances of breast and ovarian cancer of the mothers,� programme associate Kangkan Kumar Saikia added. Kangkan Kumar Saikia also gave tips for five-step breast self-examination for early detection of symptoms of breast cancer, the statement added.

Meanwhile, each of the six winners of slogan writing contests were awarded with nutritional foods. The NHM, Darrang authority has claimed before a section of the media that various programmes were organised in connection with the World Breastfeeding Week. However, the NHM authority didn�t consider the necessity of communicating with the staff of the Mangaldai Urban Health Centre even though the health centre has reportedly recorded a sizeable number of newborn babies and lactating mothers over the years. Lina Bora, the Lady Health Supervisor on duty while talking to this correspondent on Wednesday expressed her ignorance about any communication in this regard. Similar reaction was from Ajit Medhi, the senior pharmacist who observed that educated urban women are also not well aware of the scientific breastfeeding techniques and its immense benefits, so they also need necessary motivation on proper breastfeeding.

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