Exclusive breastfeeding and child survival in India: relationship revisited in view of the WHO recommendations

Arvind Pandey, Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (ICMR)
B.N. Bhattacharya, Indian Statistical Institute
Damodar Sahu, Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (ICMR)
Ajay Pandey, Futures Group International (USAID-ITAP)

The present paper intends to re-examine the findings of the study “Are the WHO guidelines on breastfeeding appropriate for India?” NFHS Subject Report 16 using the same data.The multi-variate hazard model with time dependent covariates was used to analyses the data. It is found that the risk of death during age 1-4 months for children under exclusive breastfeeding is lower than those children who are under non-exclusive breastfeeding or not breastfeeding. The findings support the need of WHO recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding during early infancy. The present analysis has indicated that during the age segment 1-6 months the risk of death among breastfeeding children receiving only plain water is lowest compared to those children who were under different types of breastfeeding, i.e., exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding with food supplements and not breastfeeding. This finding suggests that further investigation is required to see the validity of these findings.

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Presented in Poster Session 4