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.
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