- According to Union Health Ministry,Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Punjab performed worst in the practice of breastfeeding.
- The report notes that these states have the lowest rate for breastfeeding within one hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for six months and complementary breastfeeding from six to nine months.
- Further,the States that have topped the report card include Mizoram, Sikkim, Odisha and Manipur.
- The World Health Organisation says that if breastfeeding was scaled up to near-universal levels,lives of about 8 lakh children could be saved every year.However,globally only 40% of infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
- The advantages of Breastfeeding include (a)reducing the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer (b)breastfeeding can prevent neonatal mortality and (c)breastfeeding for six months can reduce under-five deaths significantly.
- The report has recommended counselling and practical support to women both during the time of birth and later and linking them to community workers are key to promoting breastfeeding.
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