Mothers attend the closing ceremony of World Breastfeeding Week at Dhatkidih Community Centre on Wednesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
World Breastfeeding Week came to an end on Wednesday with a pat for East Singhbhum.
The district seems to be faring well as far as its infant health standard is concerned , scoring better than the state average.
The fact came to light during the closing ceremony of World Breastfeeding Week, held at Dhatkidih Community Centre, on Wednesday. Representatives of Integrated Child Development Services, which organised the Week, read out figures furnished by Annual Health Survey 2010-2011 on the occasion.
About 45.2 per cent children in East Singhbhum are breast-fed within the first hour of birth as compared to the state average of 38 per cent. The report also said that about 78.7 per cent of children of the district are exclusively provided mother’s milk for the first six months, as against the state average of 46 per cent.
Speaking on the occasion, chairperson of zilla parishad (East Singhbhum) Sonia Samant said the figures were encouraging and lauded anganwadi workers for their tireless endeavours.
“The figures show that East Singhbhum is faring better than the rest of the state. I hope anganwadi workers, who have been doing their job with full dedication till now, will continue the noble service and make more children healthy. I think women by now know about the advantages of breastfeeding and more awareness will be spread in coming days,” said Samant.
Like the inaugural ceremony of World Breastfeeding Week, the closing function was organised across various blocks in the district and was attended by anganwadi workers, expectant mothers and new mothers.
The ceremony at Dhatkidih also saw a healthy baby contest. Five infants, who had ideal weight according to their age, were awarded.
Three babies between the age of six and seven months were fed solid food, marking the ritual of annaprasan. Expectant and new mothers were counselled that they should continue breastfeeding their children. Some anganwadi workers and mothers also shared their case studies with the audience.
ICDS officials, however, said they had a long way to go. “The figures in the district are inspiring but we need to reach out to more people. The anganwadi workers are already doing their bit but efforts have to be stepped up,” said Sandhya, an official of ICDS in East Singhbhum.