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May 20, 2016

Advocacy with National Health Mission Jharkhand

Dr.Arun Gupta (Extreme right) sensitizing officers
Dr.Arun Gupta (Extreme right) sensitizing officers

Dear Donors, 

Greetings from BPNI!

This is our first report of this new project. We committed to create 2000 village level breastfeeding counselors in India. In line with the objectives of our project we have started the advocacy efforts to pitch in our skilled training course for middle level and field level trainers to create a support system for mother- baby dyads on ground. 

We chose Jharkhand a state in eastern India with a population of 32,988,134. In Jharkhand less than 40% women initiating breastfeeding within one hour and about 50-60% exclusive breastfeeding during first six months.

BPNI's Central Coordinator Dr.Arun Gupta and Central Coordination Committee member Dr.Sunita Katyan met director of National Health Mission State of Jharkhand Mr.Ashish Sighmar in the 2nd week of May 2016 to discuss about breastfeeding in the state. Dr.Arun Gupta suggested them how to increase rates of early and exclusive breastfeeding in the state.

Our team also sahred some interesting background papers on the issue to sensitize the sate funcationaries. The state NHM team of joint directors and technical people were briefed on the agenda. The managing director of NHM agreed to almost all the suggestions given and asked our team to summarize in the end. 


Meeting ended in a positive note where the managing director of NHM said "we will do it". We also met the joint director NHM Dr.Bina Sinha whom we also sensitized about our initiative. She promised to take it forward and requested our team to help her with a draft plan of action.


We are in follow up with the state functionaries and taking forward the dialouge for conducting trainings in future. This advocacy effort was the first step forward to materialize is target of creating 2000 breastfeeding counselors in India. 


Jharkhand state officers at the advocacy meeting
Jharkhand state officers at the advocacy meeting
Mar 29, 2016

Promoting Breastfeeding with a Holistic Approach (Final Report)

WBTi India assessment report launch 2015
WBTi India assessment report launch 2015

Dear Donors,

This project has been a success with your overwhelming support. This is our summary report of the work we did in previous 5 quarters. We would like to inform you that this project will no longer be active as it has achieved its committed targets and funding goal. 

This project assured to promote breastfeeding with a holistic approach and BPNI has been successful in touching the lives of several women through field level training on breastfeeding counselling and reaching policy makers to improve existing policy and programme related to breastfeeding. 

We adopted the following 4 approaches to promote breastfeeding in India through this project:

1) Educating policy makers and lobbying for better policies.

2) On-ground training of health workers and care providers to support mothers.

3) Monitoring the industry and company compliance to the National Law and International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, and facilitating the initialization of the policies into practice.

4) Promoting Breastfeeding culture through social mobilization activities globally.

In the first quarter we trained a batch of 24 middle level breastfeeding counselors in the state of Bihar in India. This training helped the Government of Bihar to build its capacity in reducing neonatal deaths and child malnutrition cases through skilled breastfeeding counseling.These 24 trained health systems personnel will be responsible for reproductive, newborn care and breastfeeding counseling services at the primary health centre (PHC) level. Each PHC covers approximately a population of 30,000. Every counselor will counsel approx. 10 mothers in a day, covering 87,600 mothers in a year. This significantly contributed to our project objectives of saving infants lives by promoting breastfeeding.

In the second quarter we trained 30 field level counsellors in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Participants comprised of Aanganwadi workers (AWW), Aanganwadi helpers, ASHAs and Social Workers who belong to the health and nutritional care system of the government and provide end level care for health and child development programmes. These trained workers worked towards bringing a positive change in their communities through behaviour change catering to a population of around 25,000.

Advocacy being our core area, in the third and fourth quarter we conducted the breastfeeding policy, programme and practice assessment for India. We used the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) an innovative tool adapted from the WHO’s “Infant and Young Child Feeding - A tool for assessing national practices, policies and programmes”. Based on the assessment findings we published a report of the India assessment titled “Arrested Development” which was formally launched in September 2015 by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. The India WBTi assessment report highlights gaps in policy and programmes and IYCF practices, to be implemented for enhancing breastfeeding rates in the country.

In our fifth quarter report we coordinated the WBTi assessment verification work for 18 new countries helping them to create their country reports.

Through the above mentioned activities BPNI has not only impacted mother-baby dyads on the grass roots but also made a mark in national and international policy level advocacy to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Thank you to all the donors and global giving for making it possible by donating more than the funding goal we aspired for! You can continue to help and support us through our new project "Help create 2000 breastfeeding counselors in India" on Global Giving.

Women during IYCF training evaluation
Women during IYCF training evaluation
Practical help session during IYCF training ,Patna
Practical help session during IYCF training ,Patna

Feb 25, 2016

18 Countries Conduct Breastfeeding Policy Analysis

WBTi assessment core group from Europe
WBTi assessment core group from Europe

Dear Friends, 

BPNI is pleased to share its 5th quarter report.

BPNI is a part of a global network of organizations called International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). It serves as the Regional Coordinating office of Asia to protect, promote and support optimal infant and young child nutrition in over 25 countries with 3 sub regions, South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia; each sub region being coordinated by the sub regional representative and overall coordination is done regional coordinating office in Delhi(BPNI). 

Globally World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) is IBFAN's flagship programme which is based on WHO's “Infant and Young Child Feeding: A tool for assessing national practices, policies and programmes". WBTi aims at strengthening and stimulating breastfeeding action worldwide.

In the last quarter BPNI/IBFAN Asia was involved in coordinating, analysing and verifying the breastfeeding policy and programme assessment reports from 18 new countries. WBTi has its presence in more than 100 countries out of which 75 countries have completed their breastfeeding policy and programme assessment.

WBTi provide countries an opportunity to assess themselves on a scale of 10 breastfeeding policy & programme and 5 practice indicators. As part of the report countries score themselves on a score card of 150 points in total and utilize the scores cards for national advocacy with policy makers.

The 18 new countries from 5 regions that have completed their assessment and submitted their reports include:

Europe: Armenia, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Latin America: Cuba, Panama, Paraguay ( Reports available in Spanish language)

Oceania: Palau

Arab World: Bahrain

Africa: Sierra Leone and Tanzania

We are happy to share reports of the above mentioned countries. These reports are available on the following link:

Happy Reading!

WBTi assessment core group from Tanzania(Africa)
WBTi assessment core group from Tanzania(Africa)
WBTi assessment core group from Palau(Oceania)
WBTi assessment core group from Palau(Oceania)


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