36 % mothers initiate breastfeeding

36 % mothers initiate breastfeeding
Dr. Aarushi Bhatnagar giving powerpoint presentation at the workshop on July 19. (DIPR)
DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 7/19/2019 11:50:39 AM IST

In Nagaland, only 36 percent of mothers initiated breastfeeding immediately after birth and 84 percent feeding colostrum to the child. 

According to DIPR, Dr. Aarushi Bhatnagar, Health Economist, The World Bank, said this in her power point presentation at the dissemination workshop on study of “Nutrition and its Determinants and Strategies in Nagaland” held at the Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Kohima on July 19. 

She also said that utilization of key maternal and child health and nutrition services remains weak in Nagaland and called for concerted efforts in improving antenatal care for the pregnancy and focus on increasing antenatal during the first trimester. 

Dr. Aarushi also suggested that woman should be given co- chair appointment and training for improving women’s participation in decision making. 

She also said that food insecurity was present in Nagaland, especially among lower income groups, where 62 percent were reported to be having two meals daily and 38 percent three meals per day. 

Principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare, R. Ramakhrishnan, in his keynote address, said the department of H&FW and its allied departments should put more efforts to study the key maternal and child health and nutrition service as it remains weak in the state. 

He therefore asked the ASHAs and the Anganwadi workers to have more interactions with pregnant mothers as the state lacks appropriate knowledge and application of maternal, infant and young child feeding practices.

R. Ramakhrishnan also added that the traditional Naga kitchen which is always smoky should be done away with and should be fitted with chimneys. He further asked the H&FW department and its allied departments to work together to save the mothers, women and children in all health issues.

Additional project director of Nagaland Health Project, Dr. Atoshe Sema, who chaired the programme said the workshop was funded by the South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI) and acknowledged the work led by Patrick Mullen and Dr. Aarushi Bhatnagar. He also thanked the UK Aid from the UK government and the European Commission (EC), the South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI) and the World Bank team for their contribution towards the workshop and the survey carried out. 

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