Speakers at a discussion on Tuesday stressed the need for exclusive breastfeeding within the first hour of life of the newborns and continuation of the practice until they reached the age of six months.
They said it would reduce the death rate of the newborn babies by thirty-one per cent.
They said the newborn babies exclusively need first breast milk within an hour of their birth as it contains nutritious colostrums and antibodies that make them stronger, enhancing immune system and disease resistance capacities.
They came with the observation while addressing a discussion at the Rajshahi divisional health director’s office on Tuesday.
Ministry of health and family welfare, Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, Institute Of Public Health Nutrition and World Food Programme jointly organised the discussion where more than fifty journalists of Rajshahi city were present.
Rajshahi divisional commissioner in-charge Md Aminul Islam addressed the discussion as chief guest while the divisional director of health Anisur Rahman, and BBF district representative Md Sakib spoke at the programme.
Addressing the meeting, the speakers said breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need as it has a paramount importance for physical and mental development of newborn babies.
They said many newborn babies die each year in our country for taking alternative foods such as powder milk instead of exclusive breastfeeding.
The death ratio of the newborn babies might be reduced by thirty one per cent if the babies are provided exclusive breastfeeding in a proper way.
‘Though, the advertisement of powder milk and alternative foods are banned in the country, we notice some advertisement in media which is alarming,’ said BBF representative Md Sakib.
‘At the same time, we observed some doctors also prescribed the alternative foods, including milk powder,’ he added.
He said that powder milk and alternative foods companies were also responsible for the malnutrition and death of the newborn babies.
Divisional director of health Anisur Rahman said many mothers still do not know importance of giving first breast milk to their children.
Divisional commissioner in-charge Md Aminul Islam said they would set up more mobile court to drive against that advertisement and would take necessary steps for creating awareness among the people.
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