Though Gurgaon observed the World Immunisation Week from April 24-30, it did little to hide the city’s sorry track record in this regard. Nursing mothers, who are the source of nutrients for infants, were found malnourished by doctors at the Gurgaon civil hospital. The same, said doctors, often impairs the growth of newborn babies.
Even as the infants were given micro nutrient supplements and vaccination to fight against diseases during the immunisation week, artificial supplements are not enough to ensure their good health, feel the doctors.
With a view to deal with the issue, the state government had initiated the Mission Indradhanush Immunisation Programme two years ago that aimed to reduce child mortality and illness.
All government hospitals in the city came under the State Government Mission Indradhanush Immunisation Programme. Under this initiative, doctors administer drops of micro nutrient supplements to children.
Apart from advising on infant health, the doctors at government hospital are planning to launch a campaign to spread awareness on the need for mothers to get proper nutrition as they are the source of food and nourishment for infants.
The doctors at government hospitals said they have observed that as many as 30% infants suffer from deficiency in micro nutrients in Gurgaon which has an adverse effect on the health and growth of children in the long run.
Though many of these infants looked healthy on the surface, they were found to be underweight after detailed examination, the doctors at the civil hospital said.
“We deal with infant health and it is noted that on an average, 30% newborn babies are malnourished,” said Radesh Pathak, paediatrician, civil hospital.
The doctors said that babies, who are less than three year old should be given food at an interval of three hours and the five-year-olds should be fed every four hours.
The doctors at the hospital also mentioned that nursing mothers should keep track of the number of times the babies are given food and the quantity of their intake. As the infants don’t take food in large quantities, it is advised that they are fed at regular intervals.
Also, the doctors said that right amount of nutrients and vitamins should be given to the infants these include zinc, iron and vitamin A and C to strengthen their immunity and fulfil their growth needs.