One lakh Indian kids die due to poor breastfeeding

Nearly one lakh children die every year in India due to diseases that could have been prevented through breastfeeding, according to a UN report which said mortality and other losses attributed to inadequate breastfeeding could cost the country’s economy $14 billion.
One lakh Indian kids die due to poor breastfeeding
Representative Image

Chennai

The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, a new report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WHO in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, points out that breastfeeding not only helps prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia, two major causes of death in infants, it also helps reduce mothers’ risk of ovarian and breast cancer, two leading causes of death among women.
In China, India, Nigeria, Mexico and Indonesia alone, inadequate breastfeeding is responsible for more than 236,000 child deaths each year. In these countries, the estimated future economic cost of mortality and cognitive losses attributed to inadequate breastfeeding are estimated to be almost $119 billion per year.
The report said that despite a reported 55 per cent exclusive breastfeeding rate in children below the age of six months, the large population in India and high under-five mortality means that an estimated 99,499 children die each year as a result of cases of diarrhoea and pneumonia that could have been prevented through early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding.
Further, the high level of child mortality and growing number of deaths in women from cancers and type II diabetes attributable to inadequate breastfeeding is estimated to drain the Indian economy of $7 billion. Together with another $7 billion in costs related to cognitive losses, India is poised to lose an estimated $14 billion in its economy, or 0.70 per cent of its Gross National Income.
“Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). He added that breastmilk works like a baby’s first vaccine, protecting infants from potentially deadly diseases and giving them all the nourishment they need to survive and thrive.

Are you in Chennai?  Then click here to get our newspaper at your doorstep!! 

Related Stories

No stories found.
DT next
www.dtnext.in