Photo exhibition for Mother’s Day in Kolkata

Kolkata, May 13 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): A three-day photo exhibition to commemorate Mothers’ Day began at Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in the city on Friday.

It aims to create awareness about the important role health workers play in safe pregnancy and child survival.

The exhibition is being organized by non-governmental organization Save the Children to showcase select photographs focusing on the frontline health workers while screening children for malnutrition, promoting breastfeeding, distributing vitamins and other micronutrients and counselling mothers about balanced diet, hygiene and sanitation.

Singer Lopamudra Mitra, actor Jaya Seal Ghosh and fashion designer Agnimitra Paul were present on the occasion.

The exhibition is part of Save the Children’s campaign to cut down maternal and child mortality.

With just a few years left until the 2015 deadline, Just 23 of the 75 countries are on track to achieve the child survival goal (MDG 4). And just 13 of the 75 countries are on target to achieve the maternal mortality goal (MDG 5).

Save the Children’s global flagship report, State of the World’s Mothers, highlights that the best method for protecting the pregnant mother and her baby from the vicious cycle of malnutrition is to focus on the child’s first 1,000 days starting from pregnancy.

The report revealed that, in developing countries like India, breastfed infants are at least six times more likely to survive in the early months than non-breastfed children.

Yet less than 40% receive the full benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. Cultural beliefs, lack of knowledge and misinformation play major roles.

Save the Children said it believes that frontline health workers have a vital role to play in promoting good nutrition in the first 1,000 days.

However, it’s report points out that the world is short more than 3 million health workers of all types, and there is an acute shortage of frontline workers, including community health worker’, who are critical to delivering the nutrition solutions that can save lives and prevent stunting.

Save the Children’s state programme manager Jatin Mondar in a statement said, “One of the learning through our work on Health and Nutrition projects in Purulia, Bankura, Diamond Harbour II and Ward 58 of Kolkata Municipality is; It is also important to continuously engage with the local community to provide them with information on better health and nutrition practices and available services.

“This has helped in generating community demand for such services. Further, establishing linkages of these community groups with the frontline health workers has proved in effective delivery of services from the supply end.

“This strategy has worked well especially in the hard to reach areas where communities were reluctant to access such services due to cultural beliefs, lack of knowledge and misconceptions.”

The photo exhibition, titled “Women for Women” is being organised in collaboration with renowned photographer Parth Sanyal who has captured frontline health workers in action in Purulia and Bankura.

The exhibition will remain open for all from May 12 and 13. Visiting hours is from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

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