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Breastfeeding saves lives: Awareness Raising Programme on Exclusive Breastfeeding

Stats: 1 City200 Attendees165 Adults35 Children50 Males115 Females

What Forms Did the Observations Take?

What Form Was the Take Action?
commitment for exclusive breastfeeding

Report On Awareness Raising Programme On Exclusive Breastfeeding

Alliance for Peace, Education and Development Nepal (APED-Nepal) organized an awareness raising programme on exclusive breastfeeding in Landmark International School, Kirtipur on occasion of International Day of prayer and action for children on 20th of November 2010, Saturday.  The programme was organized in coordination with Adharbhut Prasuti Sewa Kendra, APSK (Basic Maternity Service Centre), Kalanki and Midwife Society of Nepal. The programme gave information on health benefits of breastfeeding for infants and nursing mothers and ways of practicing exclusive breastfeeding for working mothers.

The programme started at 1.30 pm with more than two hundred people of the community present in the programme. There were about 50 men, 35 children and rest of audience were women. There were more than 20 mothers with infants present in the programme.  The programme started with the introduction of DPAC from Executive Director of APED-Nepal, Mr. Dadhiram Khanal.  He said that the programme organized by APED-Nepal was the only programme on exclusive breastfeeding among 63 events being organized on 43 countries. He said ‘it is fundamental right of the infant to be breastfed till six months’. He called the community members, religious leaders work actively together to create awareness on exclusive breastfeeding.

On the occasion, senior midwife and president of Midwifery society of Nepal, Rashmi Rajopadhyaya discussed the positive impact of exclusive breastfeeding on mother’s health. ‘Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their babies till six months have low probability of breast cancer and also enjoy the benefits of natural contraception’, she said. Similarly, Amala Maharjan, senior nurse working on NICU of Prasuti Griha (Maternity Hospital) spoke on the impact of exclusive breastfeeding on the health of child. She said that infants who are breastfeed exclusively for six months have greater immunity power and also have significant rate of physical and mental development in comparison to infants who are not exclusively breastfed till six months. She also discussed various postures and methods in which a mother can breastfeed newborn infant.

Dr. Nancy Krr, Senior Gynecologist from United States of America said that exclusive breastfeeding is gaining importance in developing world. She said that ‘developing country like Nepal can make significant improvement in infant mortality if infants are exclusive breastfed till six months. ‘I am happy to see the presence of men in the programme’, she said. Dr. Krr said that breastfeeding women need lot of support from the family members and that husband’s support is crucial.

On the programme, Neeti Aryal Khanal, programme coordinator of APED-Nepal shared her experience of practicing exclusive breastfeeding as a working mother. She said that working mother can express her milk in her free time and store it.  She gave information on right way of feeding expressed milk to infant. She said that ‘I regret to say I did know about exclusive breastfeeding when I had my first child. Many people are surprised to hear that I am practicing exclusive breastfeeding while continuing my job’. Ms. Khanal said that, APED-Nepal organized the programme on occasion of DPAC so that as many people as possible know about exclusive breastfeeding so as to make a significant impact on reducing infant mortality of Nepal.

On the occasion, managing director of APSK, Laxmi Tamang urged the participants to share this information to as many people as possible to take effective steps to decrease infant mortality in Nepal. She also gave information on free health camps for mothers and infants that her organization conducts every year on different occasion. She thanked APED-Nepal for organizing the programme. ‘We look forward to work together with APED-Nepal in future’, she said.

Mr. Angadmani Gautam, executive member of Landmark International School thanked APED-Nepal, APSK and Midwifery Society of Nepal for organizing informative programme. Mr. Banwari Prasad Shah, President of Landmark International School closed the programme for thanking everyone for being present in the programme. The programme was conducted by Ms. Rajyalaxmi Shrestha, vice principal of the Landmark International School.

The programme closed with the tea and snacks. During this, members and volunteers of APED-Nepal collected feedback from participants. Basanti Shrestha, a bank worker and expectant mother found programme very helpful. She was able to breastfeed her first child actively as she was not working. ‘I was worried about not being able to breastfeed my second child longer. Thanks to information provided by Ms. Neeti and health professionals, I will practice exclusive breastfeeding and not feed other things to second child before six months’. A grandmother of two grandchildren present in the programme said that though her grandchildren are now grown up, however she will encourage other relatives to practice exclusive breastfeeding. A group of 11 women students studying in Tribhuvan University unanimously said that the programme was very beneficial. 5 unmarried women students teasingly shared with other 6 married ones that ‘your time is gone, but at least we knew about this on time’.

The programme also received good media exposure. We had sent all the press releases prior the programme and also short news after the programme. Kantipur F.M, a popular FM radio station in Nepal relayed information of the event in the morning of DPAC programme. This helped to increase the number of our participants. The detailed news of the programme was published by Gorkhapatra Daily (Nepali) on 21st November 2010. Similarly, Radio Nepal, the national radio of Nepal gave news on the programme on evening of 20th November based on the news release we had sent them. Similarly, Kantipur F.M also broadcasted the news of the programme on the same evening.

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