ACHHAM, July 11: The obligation of women to spend more time in fields and doing household works has deprived infants of rural Accham from having mother's milk.
It is necessary for a mother to breastfeed her child at least 10 times a day until they are six months old. But children in rural Achham hardly get to see their mothers. Some of the children are not allowed to have mother's milk after six months.
"As women must get involved in household chores and field-related works, infants are left at home with other members," said Hikmat Budha, health department chief of Mellekh Rural Municipality, adding,"Even a two/three months old child is left starving for milk for three/four hours."
According to Dhanadevi BK, children are deprived of mother's milk especially in monsoon. "At other times, we don't have pressure to work but during monsoon we are so much busy with planting crops and managing fields that we hardly get time to feed children," said BK.
As children get all the required nutrition from mother's milk, its deprivation can lead to various health problems such as under nutrition.
As per the details provided by the District Health Office (DHO), a total of 7,789 infants received regular breastfeeding. But this, according to the office, is 2,000 less than the target.
Despite knowing the importance of breastfeeding, women don't get to feed sufficient milk to their children due to work pressure.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), around 7.7 million children across the country are at risk of losing lives after being deprived of mother's milk within the first hour of birth.
It is very important to breastfeed children as that help in the overall growth and development of child, say nutrition experts. Mother's milk can also protect children from various illnesses.