Report of Capacity Building Webinar on “Infant and Young Child Feeding”

As part of the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020, the Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal organized a Capacity Building Webinar on “Infant and Young Child Feeding” on 4th August 2020, 2.30 to 5.00 pm.

Dr Baby S Nayak, Professor and Head of the Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal welcomed the resource persons, participants and addressed the virtual gathering.

The first session on “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet” was discoursed by Dr Leslie Edward Lewis, Professor of Pediatrics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. Dr Leslie highlighted on the science behind breastfeeding and climate change. He stated that breastfeeding is remarkably green and climate friendly because breastfeeding has zero waste, zero greenhouse gases and zero water footprint. On the contrary, the formula milk requires cattle farming, storage, pasteurization, drying, cooling, package and shipping which causes emission of greenhouse effect and consumption of large water resource. Therefore, breastfeeding should be promoted and formula milk should be discouraged.

The second session on “Breast feeding and Covid 19: Indian Perspectives” was delivered by Dr C.R Banapurmath, Professor of Pediatrics, J.J.M Medical College, Davangere. Dr Banapurmath is a national trainer of Infant and Young Child Feeding and Karnataka State Coordinator of Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India, and therefore the most fitting person to talk about the Indian context of Breastfeeding and Covid-19 which is very apt given the current global pandemic situation. Through his talk he conveyed an important message of WHO’s recommendation of breastfeeding irrespective of COVID status of mothers and stated that there’s inconclusive current evidence about vertical transmission of the COVID-19 virus from mothers who are COVID positive to their newborns.

Followed by that, a session on “Infant and Young Child Feeding in the context of Covid-19” was taken by Mrs Yashoda S, Assistant Professor-Senior Scale at Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal who is also a certified Infant and Young Child Feeding counsellor. She highlighted on the guidelines of Infant and Young Child Feeding including breastfeeding and complementary feeding and the key considerations to be followed during Covid 19.

Following each session, participants actively participated by raising questions and resource persons answered those questions. Participants expressed that the sessions were informative, useful and the webinar was well organized.

The webinar successfully ended with closing remarks by Dr Anice George, Dean of Manipal College of Nursing and vote of thanks to the resource persons, all the participants and organizing team of the webinar.

The session was conducted as a live webinar in Microsoft Teams and was attended by 420 participants including students, nurses and teaching faculty from within MAHE and various institutions across the country India and abroad. The webinar was coordinated by Mrs. Binu Margaret and Mrs. Anjalin Dsouza from Department of Child Health Nursing, MCON Manipal.