Will bring down infant mortality rate to eight: Minister K K Shylaja

Anganwadis are playing a stellar role in society. Moreover, it is from here that various welfare schemes meant for women and children are being executed.

Published: 02nd August 2018 01:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2018 01:54 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Social Justice minister K K Shylaja (File Photo)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM :   Health and Social Justice Minister K K Shylaja said the anganwadis in the state will soon be modernised. And as part of the same, some of them will be upgraded into model-anganwadis. She said this after inaugurating the week-long observation of World Breastfeeding Day at Tagore Theatre, here on Wednesday. “The aim is to bring down the infant mortality rate to eight by 2020. A range of programmes is being chalked out by the Health and Social Justice Departments. The promotion and awareness of breastfeeding are part of that plan,” Shylaja said. 

“Anganwadis are playing a stellar role in society. Moreover, it is from here that various welfare schemes meant for women and children are being executed. Considering the role it is playing in the physical and mental development of children, its modernisation is the need of the hour,” said Shylaja. Earlier, the minister lauded the efforts of Asha and anganwadi workers in bringing down the maternal mortality rate of the state. 

According to her, it was because of the wholehearted approach of Asha and anganwadi workers that helped the state to be eligible for receiving the 2018 National Health Award (for recording the lowest maternal mortality rate).According to the minister, the ‘Adyamritham’ campaign unveiled by the Women and Child Department could become a game-changing strategy in this regard.

“A majority of the new mothers are unaware of the benefits of colostrum (considered to be baby’s ‘first vaccine’) which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies. Through this campaign we will reach out to pregnant women, lactating mothers, children below six years and adolescent girls and will make them aware about the merits of breastfeeding,” said the minister in her address.The programme was attended by V S Sivakumar MLA, Social Justice special secretary Biju Prabhakar, NHM state mission director Kesavendrakumar and others.

‘Society should fight misconceptions about breastfeeding’
With several misconceptions prevailing in society regarding breastfeeding, it is high time that the members of society took up the role of promoting breastfeeding, said Minister K K Shylaja. She said this after inaugurating the World Breastfeeding Week observation at Government Women’s College, Vazhuthacadu, on Wednesday. The programme was organised jointly by the college’s Women Cell Unit and Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP).  

“Some recent incidents point out there were several misconceptions prevailing in society regarding breastfeeding. Thus, the society as a whole should come together and fight the same. It will be better if IAP could play the lead role in it,” she said.  The programme was attended by IAP Kerala president Dr Muhammad Kunju, SAT Hospital superintendent Dr A Santhosh Kumar, college principal G Vijayalakshmi and others.  The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Day is ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.’

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