Bhuj: With bottle-feeding re-surfacing in Gandhidham after five years, the Indian Academy of Paediatricians (IAP) in the port-town is planning to root out the practice with the help of people. For this, the academy launched a week-long awareness programme on Saturday on the occasion of ‘World Breast-Feeding Week’.
‘’The port town was the first town in the State to be declared as a bottle-free town following an aggressive campaign launched a decade ago. The entire town joined in making bonfire of the bottle and there was no bottle feeding for the next five years. But again the evil had resurfaced,’’ Rajesh Jeswani, president of the Gandhidham branch of IAP said on Sunday.
He said the port-town had to take the lead as this year’s elected all-India president of IAP, Navin Thackar, who had led the breast-feeding campaign 10 years ago, was from the port-town. ‘’We had already primary discussion on the matter and we would re-launch the voluntary ‘anti-bottle feeding campaign’ as early as possible not only in Gandhidham but also in other towns of Kutch,’’ Jeswani said.
He said this time the WHO had announced that breast-feeding could be initated within one hour of baby’s birth. He said an awarness rally was taken out in the township on Sunday and it generated good response from people. “Not only there was a good presence of women, but even unwed college girls asked a variety of questions on the benefits of breast-feeding at a seminar here on Saturday,’’ said the doctor.
He said the latest research on the subject revealed that the traditional system of mothers giving honey, guggery, sugar of boiled tea water as a pre-lacteal feed to their just borne babies led to gut infection which ultimately resulted in septicemia. He said the high child mortality in Kutch and other
parts of the State was much on account of pre-lacteal feeding.
“There is another superstition prevalent here. The mother and his family members consider the mother’s first milk as witch milk. This has been proved wrong as the mother’s initial first-hour milk is found to be protecting the newborne against all diseases,’’ said Jeswani, adding that breast-feeding should continue for the minimum period of six months.
Courtesy:Ahmedabad Newsline - Ahmedabad,India