World Breastfeeding Week: VedantaAluminiumsteps up to protect, promote and support breastfeedingin Odisha

Bhubaneswar, : Vedanta Aluminium,India’s largest producer of aluminium,is undertaking a series of awareness sessionson breastfeeding practices for pregnant and lactatingmothers in Jharsuguda and Kalahandi districts of Odisha during World Breastfeeding Week. Themed on “Step up for Breastfeeding”, the sessionswill be held in partnership with National Rural Health Mission, Vedanta Hospital (Lanjigarh) and MAMTA-Health Institute for Mother and Child. It seeks to build awareness on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of an infant’s life, provide access to improved caregiving practices for pregnant & lactating mothers in Lanjigarh and peripheral areas, increase level of awareness on nutrition during breastfeeding and so on.

At Jharsuguda, the company is conducting awareness sessions at 125 Nand Ghars, which are modernised anganwadis that act as centres of woman and child development. At each of the Nand Ghars, ANM and ASHA workers and medical officers will impart knowledge on importance and best practices of breastfeeding to new mothers. Similarly, in Lanjigarh (Kalahandi), the session will see doctors from the Vedanta Hospital at Lanjigarh and officials from National Rural Health Missionshare the benefits of breastfeeding, taking proper care of a child during feeding and for family participation in ensuring proper health of mother and child. The mothers shall also be given vitamin supplements to help maintain their health during the breastfeeding phase.

Vedanta Aluminium’s social interventions in the domains of quality education, sustainable livelihood, women empowerment, health, water and sanitation, community infrastructure reach out to over 130 villages in Odisha, benefiting more than 2.5 lakh people on an annual basis.Awareness sessions such as these are amongst the many health initiatives by the company, which include:

  • Vedanta Hospital, a 20-bedded state-of-the-art medical facility at Lanjigarh, well equipped with doctors, physiotherapists and visiting specialists, and 24X7 ambulance service for referrals. The hospital gets a daily footfall of more than 150 patients.
  • Mobile Health Units which provide health services to hundreds of remote villages in both districts every month, providing quality medical consultation and medicines free of cost at people’s doorstep.
  • Supporting the Maa Santoshi Jankalyan Hospital, the only medical service centre in the remote region of Bankakundru, which caters to over 27,000 people.
  • Monthly Mega Health Camps at various locales, which see specialist doctors provide expert advice, consultation and referrals (if needed) to community members.
  • Preventive annual malaria control programs and various other seasonal health awareness campaigns in various locales.

Speaking about the company’s healthcare interventions for the communities, Mr. Sunil Gupta, CEO – Vedanta Limited, Jharsuguda, said, “Through our deep health interventions, we aim to bridge the gap and improve rural communities’ access to quality healthcare, especially in underserved regions.”Mr. GG Pal, Dy. CEO – Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarhadded, “This initiative will be of immense support to young mothers and contribute to ensuring the proper care of an infant in the few first months, the most important period for its future growth and development.”

Sharing her gratitude for the initiative, Lalita Harijan, a new mother from Boringpadar village in Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district said, “This session has helped me understand the necessity of breastfeeding and how to take proper care for my new-born child. I am grateful to the doctors who spoke to us about this topic and answered a lot of doubts and concerns I had on this matter. I hope many more women are able to benefit from it in future as well.”

Dr. Jay Narayan Pujari, one of the doctors who attends to the local communities through Vedanta Jharsuguda’s Mobile Health Units, said, “Breastmilk is the perfect first food for a newborn, containing all the right nutrients that a child needs to grow and develop. Most mothers are unaware of the benefits of breastfeeding for their child as well for themselves, including proper nutrition habits that should be followed during this period. Awareness campaigns like these help mothers to make informed choices about their child’s health and nutrition as well as their own. Vedanta Aluminium’s breastfeeding awareness campaign is a step towards promoting better woman and child nutrition habits in the community.”

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