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Breastfeeding gives children the best start in life

Kolkata, West Bengal: 'Breastfeeding helps save lives of children' stressed UNICEF State Representative for West Bengal Lori Calvo while addressing a group of participants at ‘training of trainers’ on Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices.

‘Breastfeeding and promoting infant and young child feeding practices is simple, fundamental and a doable strategy which will help address child malnutrition and save lives. Hence there is need to increase focus to promote and support these practices so that they are practiced by all mothers’ added UNICEF State Representative for West Bengal Lori Calvo.She was speaking at the concluding session of the six day training programme organized at Kolkata from July 18 – 23, 2008, by the Breast Feeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) in collaboration with UNICEF office for West Bengal.

The trainers who were trained at this workshop will further train field level functionaries of the districts in the selected blocks of Purulia, Dakshin Dinajpur and Murshidabad.   This will help increase the knowledge and skills of field level functionaries in the districts and will empower them to counsel mothers and care givers of children more effectively. The participants were from the Food and Nutrition Board, Government of India, Positive Deviance Cell Murshidabad and Child in Need Institute (CINI).
© UNICEF/ 2008
Lori Calvo State Representative UNICEF office at West Bengal with participants and resource persons of IYCF training of middle level trainers at Kolkata

National trainers, Dr. B. B. Gupta, Dr. Chakravorty and Dr. Prabati Sengupta, conducted the training. 

Dr. Prabati Sengupta is also the State Coordinator of Breast Feeding Promotion Network of India, a national network which is dedicated to protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and optimal infant and young child feeding practices.  

Bhaswati Sarkar one of the participants shared that this training is going to help her to teach field level functionaries the importance of breastfeeding and how they can counsel mothers to practice it right.

In addition to this, in Purulia, UNICEF, in partnership with the district administration and an NGO Kalyan, is supporting a behaviour change communication campaign by engaging a network of 48 community mobilizers and animators.

This team of community workers reaches out to approximately 30,000 families every month in 12 blocks of the district to help increase awareness on the importance of colostrums and breastfeeding as well other key behaviours.

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