ASIA/PAKISTAN - Only 28 % of women are in physical condition to breastfeed their infants

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - The Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) noted a change regarding the breastfeeding of babies among the women in the Tharparkar district of Sindh. A study carried out by the organization found that, prior to the severe drought that hit the country, 39% of women were breastfeeding their babies while now the percentage has dropped to 28%. Malnutrition, poverty and lack of awareness are the main reasons. According to head of the HANDS health care department, many women do not actually know how long they should breast-feed their children. The data recorded by the Association for Water Applied Education & Renewable Energy (AWARE) reported that in March 2014, 140 women were hospitalized at the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Central Hospital in Chachro who reported not having supplements or medications to encourage breastfeeding. The natural consequence is that, once pregnant, their state of malnutrition and weakness worsens, and children are born underweight because their mothers do not have an adequate diet. Unfortunately, the rural areas are the poorest and most malnourished population. Many women are anemic and debilitated and are unable to breastfeed. In addition, in most Pakistani families, women eat after all the other members of the family have eaten, despite the fact that they work in the fields while the men sit around smoking the hookah. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 08/04/2014)