Infant health: ‘Breastfeeding statistics very discouraging’

Published: October 5, 2013
“According to a 2011 multiple-indicator cluster survey 22 per cent mothers had breast-fed their children up to six months,” says Naveed.

“According to a 2011 multiple-indicator cluster survey 22 per cent mothers had breast-fed their children up to six months,” says Naveed.


A conference titled A Dialogue on Breastfeeding: Promotion and Challenges was organised by the EVERYONE Campaign and Save the Children on Thursday.

EVERYONE campaign manager Muhammad Naveed shared statistics on breastfeeding practices in the province.

He said the status of breast feeding practices in the province was very discouraging.

“According to a 2011 multiple-indicator cluster survey 22 per cent mothers had breast-fed their children up to six months,” he said.

He said bottle feeding had increased to 54 per cent.

Naveed said a newborn should be breastfed immediately after the delivery.

He said complementary breastfeeding should be continued with weaning till the baby was 24 months old.

“A multi-sectoral approach should be adopted for promotion of breastfeeding,” he said. “Stakeholders like the government, its development partners, the civil society and the media should create awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding.”

Naveed emphasised the role of civil society organisations in providing spaces for working women to breastfeed their child without hampering their work commitments.

Paediatrician Naeem Zafar said there was need for revival of a baby-friendly hospitals initiative.

He said studies showed that breastfed children had higher IQ than bottle-fed children.

He said there was no law on checking formula milk for quality.

Zafar said formula milk manufacturing companies were not allowed to sell or advertise it in hospitals.

He said free sampling and complimentary gifts to mothers at hospitals should be discouraged.

Ammara Farooq, a child right’s activist, discussed the Punjab Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition (Amendment) Act 2012.

She said an Infant Feeding Board was to have been constituted after the amendment. She said the board was to consist of a chairperson, a secretary and two members of the provincial assembly.

The Childs Rights Movement representative Nazeer Ghazi appreciated the organisers’ efforts for raising awareness about the issue.

He said the CRM would take promotion of breastfeeding on its agenda for future campaigning.

MPA Hina Pervaiz Butt praised the EVERYONE Campaign for organising a dialogue.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • FemPwr
    Oct 5, 2013 - 3:03PM

    Breast fed children have strong immune system. The defence against the diseases mother has made she just teansfer that to her child. That save her own time&money to run to clinics and stay up whole night for sick children every now and then. Or she has to chew the food in her mouth and feed the child to teansfer her anti disease immunity.


  • Aimal Khan
    Oct 5, 2013 - 5:51PM

    Research shows that bottle feeding has increased in Punjab while Exclusive Breastfeeding for six months is decreasing. This requires urgent attention at all levels to create widespread awareness about breastfeeding and its importance for child survival and decreasing neonatal deaths in Punjab, Pakistan to be able to achieve MDG 4. Besides awareness the role of health professionals is also very critical in discouraging formula milk and promoting breastfeeding. Punjab enacted the Punjab Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Amendment Act 2012 however, it is imperative that the provincial government take effective steps for its implementation beginning with notification of Rules and the Infant Feeding Board to monitor implementation of the law.


  • Ali Deewan
    Oct 5, 2013 - 11:07PM

    The topic is much appreciated .The statistics are really alarming but the media should highlight these issues in details.The news of any important event may contain the details of all notables but don’t forget the public get a lot of awareness from print media and the lack of information in short news are not encouraged by the readers.
    One of the important point highlighted above is the provision of space for the working women.Government should take this initiative and provide spaces to the women working in Public sector so that they can at least feed their child till six months of age ensuring Exclusive Breast Feeding.


  • Adnan Sajid
    Oct 6, 2013 - 10:39AM

    Just the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) who are working on war foorting basis to increase the coverage of immunization, the same strategy must be adopted by the DoH, Nutrition Cells to work more for spreading the advantages of breast feeding and also the disadvantages of not doing so, through media campaigns, social mobilization with the help of Lady Health Workers, District level seminars, Provincial level conferences etc.


  • Hazrat Hussain
    Oct 7, 2013 - 12:14AM

    In my point of view midwifery practice can be improved to promote successful breast feeding among women with a low income by: 1) creating realistic expectations and increasing women’s confidence/desire to succeed in breast feeding; 2) providing good quality advice and support to mothers of newborn babies, particularly with regard to positioning the baby at the breast; 3) improving social-support networks available to breast-feeding mothers, perhaps through educating grandmothers (or partners) in breast-feeding matters.Recommend

  • LuvPak
    Oct 7, 2013 - 12:32AM

    If there are any rumors about negative affects of breastfeeding, then be happy….”whats good for the baby must be good for the mother” too. A functoning part of body only looks and heal better than one thats is not used. Breast feeding saves mother from lot of diseases too, beside loving bonding with her child.


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