Shillong(Meghalaya): The Ministry of Women & Child Development, Community Food & Nutrition Extension Unit, Government of India in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Meghalaya today kickstarted the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week with a one day State Level Symposium at the Conference Hall of the Directorate of Social Welfare, Shillong. The theme for this year’s celebration is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.
The inaugural session was graced by the Director of Social Welfare. H M Shangpliang as the Chief Guest and N Munish Singh, Regional Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India as the Chairperson.
In his inaugural address,Mr. Shangpliang said that the objective of this celebration is to allow the health workers, including CDPOs and Lady Supervisors to understand the ground reality of the health and welfare of mothers and infants and provide the support to mothers through several interventions which can benefit them. Stating that breast feeding by mothers for their babies in the first six months is important to get the incredible health benefits, at the same time, he lamented that in recent times, most mothers are not keen to breastfeed their babies due to personal reasons. He reiterated that mothers should understand the health benefits of their children as breastmilk is the most nutritious feed for infants for their healthy growth and development. Therefore, he urged upon the field workers to go to their respective places of work and chalk out programmes and activities which can help mothers understand the significance of breastfeeding for their health as well as for their children.
Mr. Shangpliang also emphasised on the health problems of pregnant and lactating mothers and said that it is the duty of the field workers to ensure that proper nutrition and sufficient supplement food is given to mothers so that problems of breastfeeding do not occur. Stating that breastfeeding can reduce Infant Mortality to a great extent, he felt it necessary for mothers to get timely support and healthcare education. This, he said, can bring permanent changes in the social living and ultimately healthy and disease-free living. He called upon the support of the families, community leaders, trained health workers, lactation consultants, friends and partners to collaborate in this mission so that we can guarantee a healthy society.
N Munish Singh said that breastfeeding is nature’s gift and it is mandatory for mothers to breastfeed their infants as it can provide the necessary energy and nutrition as complementary foods cannot provide complete nutrition for a child. (MIPR)