World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN promotes breastfeeding, aims to cut substitutes

UN promotes ‘effective’ breastfeeding, aims to cut on breast-milk substitutes

4 August 2014

The United Nations children’s agency today said it is working with governments, the private sector and local communities to make it easier for women to breastfeed their infants, and to end false marketing of breast milk substitutes.

“In many cases there are wrong statements and wrong sentiments that tend to show that infant formula is as good as breast milk and this is totally wrong and we don’t want that to happen,” said the UNICEF Regional Nutrition Advisor for Equatorial and Southern Africa, Noel Marie Zagre.

Speaking to UN Radio, Dr. Zagre said that all too often people talk about breastfeeding in general terms but the issue is to breastfeed “effectively.” That means putting the child on breast milk an hour after birth and then exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life.

“The infant should be receiving only the milk from his mother and not receiving anything else, whether it is water or any other liquids,” Mr. Zagre said, explaining that other liquids reduce the amount of nutrient-rich breast milk that an infant can consume.

After six months, quality foods can be introduced to the diet but a mother can continue to supplement the baby’s diet with breast milk, he added.

Dr. Zagre said UNICEF and its partners are working in support of legislation to make it easier for women to exclusively breastfeed.

“In some countries, many women are working outside the household, in factories, in the field, and they just don’t have even the time for breastfeeding,” he said. “For example, some of them are in factories and don’t have maternity leave or if they have it, it’s so short that they do not have enough time to take care of the young baby and ensure that this young baby has a good start in life.”

According to UNICEF and the UN World Health Organization (WHO), breastfeeding is the foundation of good nutrition, reducing the risk of malnourishment in early childhood and the risk of obesity later in life. Breast milk can contribute to reducing 20 to 25 percent of newborn mortalities, according to the UN agencies.

In addition, by supporting nutrition and strengthening the bond between mother and child, breastfeeding also supports healthy brain development.

The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, which is celebrated from 1 to 7 August, is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – for Life!” The theme highlights the link between breastfeeding and the achievement of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals, particularly MDGs 4 and 5 to improve maternal and child health.

The Week aims to raise knowledge of and interest in breastfeeding, whose practice remains uneven throughout the 170 countries whose mothers nurse.

“Clearly we have some evidence that many countries are not yet doing very well even though we know that we have also observed a lot of progress in some other countries,” Dr. Zagre said. “Up to now some countries are still having a very low exclusive breastfeeding rate like five per cent while others are doing quite well and even reaching 89 to 95 per cent of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.”

Since 1990 the number of children under the age of five dying from preventable causes declined by a remarkable 47 per cent. But nearly 7 million young children still die every year, and over 40 per cent of them are newborns.

Some countries have made progress – reaching 80 and 90 percent of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. However, other nations lag behind. While 82 percent of children are breastfed until one year, but only 45 percent are exclusively breastfed, he said, emphasizing the need to bridge that gap.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Ban Ki-Moon Condemns Texas Shooting

4 May 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday’s shooting in Texas that injured a law enforcement officer, reiterating that such criminal acts have nothing to do with religion or belief. More>>

Release Of 200 Nigerian Girls Held Captive By Boko Haram

UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram More>>

Ban Calls For Immediate End To Hostilities In Northern Mali

Chadian UN peacekeepers heading to their base in Tessalit, northern Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino More>>

New UN Special Envoy On Ebola Response Visit To Sierra Leone

29 April 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization ( WHO ) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the ... More>>

Somalia Registers Record Export Of Livestock In 2014

Somalia registers record export of livestock in 2014 due to trade boost with Gulf States More>>


United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news