Breast feeding found more than national average in Karnali
Forty percent of women in Karnali province are found breast feeding their infants within one hour of their birth. The Health Service Directorate said, quoting the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey-2019, 40 per cent out of the 62 per cent women who deliver babies at health facilities breast feed the babies within an hour of their birth.
Similarly, 68 per cent of new mothers breast feed their child up to six months, which is more than the national average (62 per cent). The Karnali and Madhes provinces have overtaken the rest of the provinces when it comes to breast feeding the child up to six months. In Nepal, 62 per cent women breast feed their child up to six months from birth. Province Health Director Dr Rabin Khadka shared that the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey-2019 showed the number of women breast feeding their infant within one hour of birth is more in Karnali than in Bagmati and Gandaki provinces.
He added that the Karnali Health Service Act has guaranteed the right of the child to be breast fed and also made provision for regulating the sale and distribution of baby food that replaces mother’s milk. MICS shows that 29 per cent women in Gandaki and 30 per cent in Bagmati province breast feed their infant within an hour of the birth. The number of mothers who continue breast feeding their child up to two years from birth is 89 per cent.
The number of mothers who bottle feed milk to their child is 12 per cent in Karnali. Community nursing officer at the Public Health Section of the Ministry of Social Development, Kabita Khattri said breast feeding done within an hour of the child birth reduces the infant mortality rate by 33 per cent.
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