New Delhi: The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Week is “Optimal Infant & Young Child feeding Practices (IYCF): Better Child Health.” During this period from 1st September to 7th September 2017, a week-long campaign is being carried out to create mass awareness about the importance of appropriate nutrition in protection and promotion of health and well-being of children.
For the promotion of Optimum IYCF practices, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has launched “MAA- Mothers’ Absolute Affection” programme to improve breastfeeding coverage and appropriate breastfeeding practices in the country. Around 3.7 lakhs ASHAs and around 82,000 health workers including programme managers at district and block level, doctors (MOs), staff nurses (SNs) and ANMs have been sensitized for breastfeeding promotion strategies under MAA programme and more than 23,000 health facility staff are trained in IYCF training. In addition, more than 1.49 lakh mothers’ meetings were also carried out by ASHAs at village level to sensitize mothers regarding importance of appropriate breastfeeding practices.
Breastfeeding is an important, efficient and cost-effective intervention promoting child survival and health. Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20 percent of the newborn deaths.