Madhya Pradesh capital performs poorly in promoting breastfeeding to reduce child mortality rate, according to the latest National Family Health Survey -4.
The report, which was released in March, showed that only 18.3% children in Bhopal were breastfed within one hour of their birth. However, the institutional births are 91.7 % here. Even, the percentage of breastfeeding within one hour of birth is low. Against 80.8 % institutional deliveries, only 34.5 % children get colostrum just after birth, the survey reveals.
“Colostrum or first milk is necessary for infants which are not only protect them from many diseases but also a step towards fighting malnutrition. It also reduces infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. The data shows major negligence from the parts of authorities,” Rolly Shivahare, a health activist, said.
“Some doctors said children might have post natal complications due to which they were referred to Sick New Born Care Units but I don’t think that is the reason behind low percentage of breastfeeding,” Shivhare said.
However, Bhopal chief medical health officer (CMHO) said the data released by NFHS-4 was unrealistic and should be revised by the authorities.
Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India former president Sheela Bhambal also said there is a need to recheck the data.
CMHO, Bhopal Veena Sinha said, “I know the data is very surprising. I think NFHS-4 should revise the data because at least in government hospitals and public health institutions, children are breastfed within an hour of their birth. Even, we allow the first milk in case of caesarian deliveries.”