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Breastfeeding termed vital for health of infants in Shangla

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SHANGLA:The nutritionists on Wednesday urged the community health workers of Shangla to create awareness among their respective areas women on the importance of breastfeeding as breastfeeding is essential for infants at least till six months of birth.

The Malakand division nutrition coordinator Doctor Syed Fazal Haseeb, Lady Health Workers Program district coordinator Dr Abdul Samad, local nutrition assistant Atia Bano and others were speaking at a seminar organised at the district headquarters, Alpuri. The LHWs program lady workers from the different parts of the district were in attendance.

They said the Shangla district was comprising on hard terrains and mountains population where female education ratio was also very low and still in the 2021 a majority of women used traditional techniques in feeding their children.

Nutrition assistant, Atia Bano, said the women in Shangla rural areas were less educated on child healthcare and often gave birth in the local inexperience women within the houses which also a major problem for the children because it negatively impacted on the children growth and health in future.

She said the mother feed (Milk) was rich of all vitamins and included water and it use after birth of child was very essential but in most cases in the Shangla district women gave water sips to children after birth which directly affect the immunity of child.

Doctor Salahuddin Ayubi, said avoiding breastfeeding to children was not only hazardous for child health but even it may caused of breast cancer as it was one of the reason diagnosing women of breast cancer.

He said they were striving to educate the local women and men to avoid the traditional practices and use of the market available milk and medicines.

Doctor Syed Fazal Haseeb, coordinator nutrition, Malakand division, said organising the seminar in Shangla was meant to brief the community health workers and they would then guide their respective areas community women to adapt mother breastfeeding and avoid use of bottle-feeding.

He said it was a challenging and major issue for Pakistan and particularly the rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the local women were unaware of the losses of bottle feeding and traditional practices.

Doctor Abdul Samad, coordinator LHWs program in Shangla, said it was a month campaign had been launched and now the community health workers would visit door to door to inform the women to adapt the breastfeeding and properly take care of their children.

He said he had only 33 percent coverage of the LHWs in across the district but he was making efforts to cover that areas too and create awareness among the women of the all the villages of the district about women and children healthcare particularly on nutrition.

He added that the Shangla LHWs had played a key role in every campaign although Shangla was comprising on hard terrains.

The health workers on the occasion also carried out an awareness rally in the Alpuri bazaar by carrying banners inscribed with the messages of importance of breastfeeding and mother and child healthcare.

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