Wednesday, August 6, 2008

World Breastfeeding Week - UNICEF on Breastfeeding as a Lifesaving Intervention

--celebrity + charity + global relief--

On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1 to 7 August), UNICEF, along with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is recommending the provision of increased professional and informal support for breastfeeding mothers.

“Breastfeeding is a key tool in improving child survival said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director. “Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life can avert up to 13 per cent of under-five deaths in developing countries.”

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life reduces infant mortality linked to common childhood illnesses, under-nutrition as well as a reduction in the number of deaths caused by acute respiratory infection, diarrhea and infectious diseases. It also contributes to the health of mothers, and creates a critical bond between the mother and child.

Although there has been progress over the past 15 years, only 38 per cent of infants under 6 months of age in the developing world are exclusively breastfed.

For more information on World Breastfeeding Week, and to access resources on breastfeeding from around the world go to World Breastfeeding Week SITE

Here is a fascinating video look at UNICEF's lifesaving educational breastfeeding programs in Indonesia:

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