A team led by Louis-Georges Arsenault, country representative,UNICEF India,today visited Anganwari Kendra,Makhmandru village under Ratu block in Ranchi district.
The visit gains significance since the world is celebrating breastfeeding week.And the team led by Louis-Georges Arsenault visited Makhmanddru to promote it among tribal women there.
UNICEF says that despite compelling evidence that exclusive breastfeeding prevents diarrhoea and pneumonia, global rates of breastfeeding have remained relatively stagnant in the developing world, growing from 32% in 1995 to 39% in 2010. ”The need of the hour is to promote more effectively breast feeding so that more children survive, with lower rates of disease and lower rates of malnutrition and stunting,” says Georges Arsenault.
To encourage lactating mothers,the UNICEF team members participated in a local ritual-(God Bharai) at the same Anganbari Kendra.As the team members led by Georges Arsenault visited the Kendra,a group of lactating tribal women and their children flocked it.Most of them heartily welcomed them.
Jharkhand’s Social Welfare Depatment’s Principal Secretary Mridula Sinha has been enthusiastically backing the breastfeeding week.”The mothers must be encouraged to breastfeed their child.We are doing everything possible to make them conscious about its positive points”,she said.
As per National Family Health Survey III, only 10.9% mothers in Jharkhand breastfeed their child within one hour of birth when compared to 24.5% in the country. District Level Health Survey III reveals only 34.6% women in Jharkhand breastfeed their newborns when compared to 40.5% in the country.
UNICEF’s Jharkhand’s head Job Zachariah says that nearly 44,000 children of less than 5 years of age die in Jharkhand every year. “A leading general medical journal, Lancet says breast feeding practices can prevent 19% of infant deaths. This means, if all mothers in the state ensure early breastfeeding, death of about 9000 children below five years of age can be prevented every year in the state”,says Zachariah