Government along with UNICEF launched a National Breastfeeding Promotion Programme— MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection) to ensure adequate awareness is generated among masses, especially mothers, regarding the benefits of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the most natural and cost effective intervention and should be promoted at all levels. This is an enormous resource that every child has access to. It is our job and our privilege to promote the world’s most effective investment for human development, stated J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
In the flagship programme Madhuri Dixit also present along with the senior officials including Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, C K Mishra, Secretary (Health), Leena Nair, Secretary (WCD) and Louis George Arsenault, UNICEF Representative to India.
J P Nadda highlighted the life cycle approach of the Ministry and said that a Continuum of care approach has been adopted by the Ministry with the articulation of ‘Strategic approach to Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent health’.
The Health Minister further added that we must appreciate that breastfeeding is a child’s first inoculation against death, disease and poverty and according to the latest scientific evidence; breastfeeding is our most enduring investment in physical, cognitive and social capacity development.
Addressing the gathering, Faggan Singh Kulaste said that awareness is the key among people and we have to work on dispelling myths and misconceptions. He further added that breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby and has a positive impact for life.
Actor and Mother herself, Madhuri Dixit, laid emphasis on Mothers milk in ensuring the survival of the child. She said, “Early initiations of breastfeeding within one hour of birth and thereafter exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months are essential for the wellness of the child.”
She further added that awareness should be generated to promote breastfeeding. The simple act of breastfeeding can ensure our children have the right nutrients to start their life”
Highlighting the importance of this initiative, C K Mishra, Secretary (Health) said that there is hardly any difference in rates of breastfeeding among rural and urban population as against the perception that rural area might have higher rates of breastfeeding due to traditional practices.