Breastfeeding programme to help reduce under-five children mortality: J P Nadda

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Asserting that breastfeeding is the most natural, cost effective and significant intervention and should be promoted at all levels, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda today launched the MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection), a flagship programme to ensure adequate awareness is generated among masses, especially mothers, on the benefits of breastfeeding.

Nadda said that all the national health indicators like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and under five mortality are declining faster in India than the world pace.

The Health Minister highlighted the life cycle approach of the Ministry and stated 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 (RMNCH+A), bringing focus on all the life stages.

Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit who is the Brand Ambassador of the flagship laid emphasis on Mothers milk in ensuring the survival of the child.

The actor and mother of two children, said, "Early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth and thereafter exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is essential for the wellness of the child." She further added that every family member has to encourage the mother to ensure that child gets "MAA-Mother's Absolute Affection'' is a nationwide programme launched in an attempt to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of counselling services for supporting breastfeeding through health systems.

The programme has been named 'MAA' to signify the support a lactating mother requires from family members and at health facilities to breastfeed successfully.

The chief components of the MAA Programme are Community awareness generation, Strengthening inter personal communication through ASHA, Skilled support for breastfeeding at Delivery points in Public health facilities, and Monitoring and Award/recognition.

Source: ANI