Patna: A capacity building and training programme for doctors was held here on Sunday to address maternal-, infant-, and young-child nutrition.
The state chapter of Unicef organised the programme in collaboration with the Patna chapter of Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Patna Obstetric & Gynaecological Society and non-government organisation Alive and Thrive.
The training programme was aimed at creating champions who would take the capacity-building initiative forward to all private practitioners (paediatricians and obstetricians) in Bihar. It targeted to train approximately 50 doctors from the medical associations to enhance knowledge, services delivery of behaviour aspects and improved adherence of Infant Milk Substitutes Act, said experts.
Ravi Narayan Padhi, the nutrition specialist of Unicef Bihar, spoke on how nutrition was linked to breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding and nutrition of a mother plays an important role in reducing infant mortality rate. According to studies, proper breastfeeding can help reduce about 20 per cent of the infant mortality. In Bihar, there is a need to give special attention to maternal health and nutrition, especially for children under two years of age,” he said.
Indian Academy of Paediatrics’ Bihar chapter president Dr Arun Shah inaugurated the programme. Former head of department, paediatrics, Patna Medical College and Hospital, Dr Nigam Prakash Narain, paediatricians S.A. Krishna, Utpalkant Singh, and gynaecologists Abha Rani Sinha and Meena Samant were present on the occasion.
Dr Nigam said mother’s milk was the most important source of energy for a baby in the first 24 months.
“There are too many myths about breastfeeding. In fact, some doctors are also not convinced that breastfeeding is enough for a child in summer. Actually there is no need to give a child anything but breast milk, especially up to six months. Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for the child, increases immunity and helps develop the brain,” he added.
Unicef’s national trainer Satish Tiwari, Srinivasan Sadagopalan, and Unicef Bihar’s nutrition specialist Shivani Dar also gave brief presentations on aspects of mother and child nutrition at the training programme.
Courtesy: The Telegraph