‘MAA’ is a Community awareness generation programme, which aims to enhance optimal breastfeeding practices in the country.

Indian government has recently launched the ‘MAA’ (Mothers’ Absolute Affection), to focus on creating awareness generation programme, whose sole aim is to educate community on optimal breastfeeding practices. The initiative was launched on August 5th, 2016  by the Indian Union Health Minister & Family Welfare Mr. J P Nadda. Famed Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit was also present at the function.

It is an initiative in collaboration with UNICEF to promote significance of breastfeeding and provide counseling services for supporting breastfeeding through health systems. The initiative also seeks to create an enabling environment to ensure that mothers, husbands and families receive adequate information and support for promotion of breastfeeding.

The programme has been named ‘MAA’ to signify the bond between the mother and the infant, the way mother’s milk can not only make the infant feel secure because of proximity with the mother but also protect the kids from fatal diseases such as the diarrhea, anemia and pneumonia. Campaign also stresses on the support a lactating mother requires from family members and at health facilities to breastfeed successfully.

Famed actress Madhuri Dixit has been appointed by the UNICEF as the brand ambassador of the campaign. She is also the part of the ad campaign “VAADA” for the initiative to be aired on leading channels. She spoke on the day about the importance of feeding the kid with the colostrum, or “first milk”, which is rich in protective factors.

Thirty crore rupees has been allocated for the Programme and 4.3 lakh rupees for each district for implementing the various activities under the initiative.

The practice of breastfeeding is one of the important natural interventions for child survival as it enhances immunity level in child, however a large number of women population face difficulty feeding the baby. A large number of women also give up on breast feeding rather than consult a health representative. The campaign will focus on getting the families aware of the difficulties that can come and the ways to resolve them like diet plan can change the lactation process. Research and Studies also proved that breastfed infants have higher intelligence quotient, and also prevent around 20% new-born deaths and 13% under-five deaths.

The initiative is certainly noble; however the success of this outreach will depend on its serious implementation.

by Ashwani Srivastava

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