Reported on: August 06, 2011 15:32 PM
Reported in: National
Dhaka, Aug 6 (UNB) – Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque on Saturday said about 31 percent child mortality could be reduced by feeding mother’s breast milk within one hour of her baby’s birth.
“If mother feeds breast milk immediately after her baby’s birth, the baby gets first vaccine, which help the baby develop its physical and mental health,” he said at a press conference at the Institute of Public Health Nutrition, Mohakhali.
The Institute of Public Health Nutrition under the Ministry of Health organized the press conference, marking the World Breastfeeding Week 2011.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the World Breastfeeding Week 2011 at Bangabandhu international Conference Centre tomorrow (Sunday).
The theme of the week this year is ‘the Baby Will Eat Breast Milk and Home-made Food, All Must Campaign It.”
Dr Haque said mothers should not give any food even water or other milk to newborn babies prior to feeding their breast milk.
“If one gives such food to the newborn baby, it can be affected by diarrhoea and other diseases. The baby may die,” he said.
About powder milk, the Health Minister said babies become sick due to feeding powder milk randomly, and later, they suffer from malnutrition and sometimes they die.
He informed that some 250 under five children die in Bangladesh due to suffering from malnutrition every day.
Dr Haque said the UNICEF and the World Health Organization jointly announced the International Code for Marketing of Breast Milk Substitute at the World Heath Assembly in 1981 aiming at checking marketing of baby food.
“We also enacted our domestic law and ordinance in 1984 to stop marketing of baby food,” he said.
He sought media support to sensitize mothers to feed breast milk to their newborn babies to protect them from diseases.
Health secretary Humayun Kabir and director general of Health Directorate Khandakar M Shefayetullah, among others, attended the press conference.
The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1-7 in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
It commemorates the Innocent Declaration made by the WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.