Why has so little progress been made in relation to decreasing diarrhoeal disease through improving infant feeding practices in India?
(2013) Why has so little progress been made in relation to decreasing diarrhoeal disease through improving infant feeding practices in India?, no. 53.
This dissertation focuses on the link between infant feeding practices and childhood mortality from diarrhoeal disease. India was used as a case study for investigating this link due to the fact that it has the highest rate of childhood mortality from diarrhoeal disease. Infant feeding practices were looked at to gain an insight into this relationship to answer why there has been so little progress in improving this. Policy and practice in this area were examined and barriers that prevent improvements in infant feeding practices in India were also explored. To analyse this topic, a desk study was conducted using relevant qualitative and quantitative studies from 2000 onwards. Additionally, an infant and young child feeding framework was applied to examine the connection between child care practices, water, sanitation and health services, and access to food and health status that can lead to diarrhoeal disease. Findings revealed that while policy was well developed; lack of policy implementation, some cultural traditions related to infant feeding and limited health worker knowledge were key barriers to improving feeding practices. Change and development in these areas are needed in order to improve infant feeding. Key words included: India, infant feeding practices, breast feeding, diarrhoeal disease, infant mortality, malnutrition, infection, culture, annaprashan, anganwadi and policy.