Powerpoint presentation on exclusive breastfeeding and other related issues
A PowerPoint presentation Promoting Exclusive Breastfeeding For the first Six Months: How to be successful has been prepared. This consists on information on exclusive breastfeeding and guidelines for practicing exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months in simple language. This will be used disseminating information on the issue to general public and all concerned individuals. It will be disseminated to BPNI district coordinators, UNICEF Offices, concerned non-government organisations and IBFAN national focal points in the region.

Participation in Workshop on Universalisation with Quality
An Agenda for the ICDS. The Centre for Rural Studies, Mussoorie and Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi organised a workshop, Universalisation with Quality: An Agenda for the ICDS on 29-30 December 2004. Upon invitation National Coordinator of BPNI made a presentation on Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling: Services to Sustain as a means to improve quality of services in ICDS. Participants included representatives of the governments, other agencies involved in ICDS, researchers and key persons from National Advisory Council. Outputs of the workshop will be sent as a report to the National Advisory Council. A paper was shared with all the participants. Papers presented at the conference are likely to be included in a special publication of Economic and Political Weekly.
Participation in Conference of Society of Midwives (SOM)
BPNI participated in the 3rd national conference of the Society of Midwives held at Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi. Dr. J.P. Dadhich spoke on Relevance of appropriate feeding practices in reducing neonatal mortality. Approximately 60 persons from across the country attended the meeting. Useful interaction took place and BPNI and SOM would now be able to collaborate more closely in future work.
Participation in National Human Rights Commission and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan’s National Public Hearing on Child Health
Part of an ongoing series of regional public hearings on Right to Health Care, a national hearing was organised by National Human Rights Commission in collaboration with the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan on 16th and 17th December 2004 in Delhi. BPNI was one of the members of drafting group for ‘Child Health Recommendations’. Dr. Arun Gupta made a presentation along with Dr. Vandana Prasad and Devika Singh. Recommendations were shared with all the participants.
National Sharing Workshop for district coordinators of BPNI. A two-day programme was conducted in Delhi
Twenty district coordinators who had conducted a study on Status of Infant and Young Child Feeding in their district participated. Dr. Arun Gupta, National Coordinator made a presentation on IYCF action at district level. Dr. R.K. Anand in his address emphasized to make use of government’s positive information, and made a plea to increase membership of BPNI, make use of BPNI’s training on IYCF and at any cost make efforts for unity. His vision also included the expansion of district branches of BPNI. Dr. Tarsem Jindal made an appeal to reach people at the family level with the message of breastfeeding.
Participation in the WABA’s International Gender Training Workshop, Penang
Dr. J.P. Dadhich, from BPNI participated in the WABA Gender Training Workshop held on 29 November to 1 December 2004, at Penang, Malaysia. The objective of the Workshop was to introduce gender as an issue and strategy framework for improving breastfeeding advocacy and program. Applying a gender perspective to breastfeeding programmes will help us analyse how gender identities shape the health and other social conditions of women and men and identify possibilities for action for a more gender equal society. It must take into account the different needs of women and men based on their biology, and also the broader socio-economic and cultural context of different groups of people in different regions of the world. Dr. Dadhich has submitted a report of the meeting to the national coordinator for incorporating suggestions for mainstreaming of the gender in the BPNI activities and functioning. The report has been shared with the managing committee members for their valuable comments.
Governments calls a meeting of experts on Infant and Young Child Feeding on 8th November 2004
A meeting of experts and the key government departments concerned with infant and young child feeding was held under the chairpersonship of Smt. Reva Nayyar, Secretary, MWCD in New Delhi. The objective of this meeting was to brainstorm the issue of promoting optimal IYCF practices in the country so that the same could be reflected suitably in the agenda for the first meeting of the National Nutrition Mission likely to be held shortly under the chairpersonship of Hon’ble Prime Minister. BPNI was invited to provide inputs about this issue. The MWCD has shared the minutes of the meeting with all state level WCD authorities; these reflect clearly the action required for IYCF to achieve 10th Five Year Plan goals, and slowly Government of India is moving towards implementing the global strategy on IYCF.
Release of National Report on Status of Infant and Young Child Feeding in 49 Districts (98 Blocks) of India 2003
BPNI released its National Report on Status of IYCF in 49 Districts (98 Blocks) of India 2003 at Hotel Claridges, New Delhi on 1st September 2004. This report is based on interviews of about 9000 mothers, reveals a very low rate of starting breastfeed within one hour and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. This study was conducted from two blocks each of 49 districts across 25 states and 3 union territories of India. The report emphasizes that promotion of optimal infant and young child feeding practice, including exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond along with appropriate and adequate complementary feeding starting after six months, is crucial for the prevention of malnutrition. The report was released by Shri Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament and member of the National Advisory Council, who pointed out that malnutrition was high not only in poorer states but also in certain pockets of progressive states. He also said that if we continue in the present way, it would take 40 years to effectively reduce child malnutrition. Thus, infant and young child feeding provides a great window of opportunity towards lowering infant and young child malnutrition. Smt. Reva Nayyar, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Ms. Erma Manoncourt, Dy. Director, Programs, UNICEF India, WHO, various NGOs and professional bodies participated in the report release function.
The importance of the report is evident from the fact that it has been quoted in World Bank Report, World Health Report 2005 and Economic and Political Weekly.
Facilitation of release of National Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding on 6th August 2004
During the WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK (WBW) celebrations, the National Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding was released to the nation. This is one of the activities where India has taken a lead in harmonising the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding recommendations. Ms Kanti Singh, the then Minister of State, HRD, Secretary, MWCD, Joint Secretary, MWCD and MOHFW were present. Other departments and most of the media attended the release function.
Participation in NGOs Consultation for Care of Under Three Children. On 27th-28th April 2004
MP VHA and UNICEF organised NGOs Consultation for Care of Under Three Children at Indore. Representing BPNI, Dr. Arun Gupta expanded on the role that grassroots NGOs can play to initiate early breastfeeding, establish exclusive breastfeeding, and ensure continued breastfeeding with adequate and appropriate complementary feeding from six months onwards till two years and beyond.
Inputs provided for finalisation of National Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding
Draft guidelines of the MWCD, MOHRD were shared with key national partners including IMA, IAP, FOGSI, NNF, TNAI, FORCES for comments. Several meetings were held with the officials of MWCD to provide our comments. The MWCD launched this guideline during the WBW.
Inputs into RCH-II for strengthening IYCF component
BPNI analysed the draft RCH document called PIP and sought involvement of state coordinators for input into state PIPs. Inputs into a key Government of India-MOHFW meeting RCH –II and Child Health Strategy in India: Effectively Addressing Child Mortality and Malnutrition in India. The National Coordinator presented a paper entitled Achieving high rates of exclusive breastfeeding in India. He also took part in the working group on IYCF and helped in finalising recommendations. Several advocacy documents on child survival including data from Lancet, were developed for this meeting and shared with all the participants.

Prioritising Action for Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding
As a follow up of the APCON, a Planning Meeting of Nine Infant Feeding Experts was held on 12-14 March 2004 at Mussoorie to brainstorm and evolve key actions on infant and young child feeding. The experts, who represented partner organisations such as NNF, NIPCCD, UNICEF, discussed the recommendations of the APCON as well as the National Planning Meeting on Infant and Young Child Feeding, and five regional planning meetings on IYCF implemented by the BPNI in partnership with Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) GOI in collaboration with UNICEF and several professional and other partners at state level. The passage of The Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Act 2003” was considered a great step forward and a key instrument in India to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The expert group took note of the draft “National guidelines on infant and young child feeding” emerged as an outcome of the above project, and being finalised by MWCD. This action has led to harmonisation of national guidelines with the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. The group made urgent and specific recommendations related to advocacy, capacity building and training, implementation of the IMS Act, strengthening of the health care system, and monitoring, research and interventions. These include, among others,

  • Documenting best practices,
  • Establishing centres of excellence amongst “baby friendly” hospitals and health centres that have managed to create baby friendly communities,
  • Rejuvenating BPNI’s project on “strengthening pre-service education”,
  • Developing and publishing a core set of training material for all levels of core competency with a focus on skills in counselling IYCF,
  • Establishing a process for giving inputs into RCH II, including preparing a Strategy Note, and
  • Establishing working groups to produce a policy paper on maternity protection.
It was also decided to strengthen the BPNI network and training resources by setting up a training cell in Gorakhpur to be coordinated by Dr. K.P. Kushwaha.
Inputs provided for improving RCH programme of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Dr. Arun Gupta attended a meeting at the MOHFW chaired by the Secretary, Department of Family Welfare. The meeting followed an extensive consultation Dr. Gupta had with communication experts on ways to promote the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding.
Management Committee Meeting. A Management Committee Meeting held on 29th February 2004
Following the National Convention. Dr. K.P. Kushwaha and Dr. J.P. Dadhich were special invitees. The meeting followed the points raised at the National Convention. BPNI has entered into a special partnership with UNICEF, and the National Coordinator presented the operational plan. The Committee confirmed the selection of Gorakhpur as the coordinating centre for training, and looked into the possibility of starting a certificate course in IYCF. The Management Committee recommended the setting up of a Task Force on HIV and Infant Feeding, which was subsequently done, with Dr. M.M.A. Faridi as the coordinator. The Committee also confirmed that an annual BPNI event of 2 ½ days will be held to include BPNI Foundation Day – 3rd December – at different venues across the country to enable the members to meet and dialogue with one another at least once a year.
National Conference of IAP, 2004
Through the efforts of senior BPNI member Dr. S. Jayam, the IAP provided a complimentary stall to BPNI for three days at the PEDICON- 2004, to exhibit its material and conduct advocacy. Members of the Tamil Nadu branch of BPNI assisted in the effort. About 700 doctors visited the stall and appreciated the work done by the organisation.
Extending Support to Government. On 21st January 2004
BPNI National Coordinator presented the MOHFW with a Strategy note on Strengthening optimal infant and young child feeding in RCH II. The note stressed the main components of this:
o Strengthening the BFHI initiative
o Training and capacity development
o Communication for changing care/feeding behaviour
o Community action for baby friendly communities
o Monitoring, research and evaluation.
Participation in the World Social Forum, 2004 
BPNI participated in the World Social Forum held in Mumbai from 14-24 January 2004, as a partner of the People’s Health Assembly. About 75,000 delegates from over 500 national and international organisations from more than 100 countries participated in the event. Jessy George represented our organisation, BPNI.
Besides distribution of material including the Delhi Declaration and guidelines on breastfeeding and complementary feeding, the organisation took up a stall to display its material, including material on the World Breastfeeding Week 2004. Thousands of people visited the stall and were interested to know more about breastfeeding, the organisation and its activities. BPNI also organised a role-play on breastfeeding at an open stage venue, as well as a rally, with the theme, “Breastfeeding is the right of the mother and the child.”
The World Social Forum gave BPNI a unique opportunity to participate in the People’s Health Assembly (14-15 January 2004) and the working group meeting of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan. Over 700 participants from 50 countries attended the People’s Health Assembly, where activists and representatives of international health organisations like WHO met and discussed ways of centrestaging health in the political process. The BPNI annual report and a message from the National Coordinator were distributed at the working group meeting of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan. BPNI is a member of the National Coordination Committee of the JSA. With this participation we have benefited of linkage with the social movements, sensitisation of a large number of persons on the issue of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and WBW 2004 announcement popularised.