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| Dhaka, Monday, 18 December 2017

Breastfeeding Week begins Monday

2016-07-31 19:43:25
Breastfeeding Week begins Monday Desk:

The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) will be observed in the country as elsewhere in the world from Monday to create public awareness about the beneficial aspects of breastfeeding.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) this year will celebrate the week for global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work with theme 'Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development'.

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque today said that 31 percent newborn deaths can be reduced if mothers breastfeed their babies within an hour after birth, reports BSS.

"At least 31 percent child deaths are preventable if mothers let their newborns suckle their breasts within an hour after the birth and 13 percent child deaths under the age of five can be prevented if exclusively breastfeeding can be ensured," he said.

The state minister was addressing a press briefing at the health ministry.

He said, "Bangladesh has succeeded in increasing exclusive breastfeeding rate among children below six months, which is an admirable achievement."

He said that breast milk has extraordinary advantages and breastfeeding during the first months of life has a direct proven impact on a child's survival and normal growth.

This week is an opportunity to create awareness among the countrymen to inspire the mothers to feed their children with breast milk, said Director General of Health Services Dr Deen Mohammad Nurul Huq.

According to WABA, whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, she needs to feel sufficiently empowered to claim the right to breastfeed on behalf of both herself and her baby.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

President M Abdul Hamid, in a message, today wished success of the week and hoped that the initiative would help build a healthy and intelligent society.

The President believes that there is no alternative to breastfeeding for the normal growth of children as it contains essential nutrition for the infant which increases resistance power.

"After observing the week regularly in the country, the situation has developed a lot, people are now more conscious to feed their infants," Chairman of Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation Dr S K Roy told the news agency. "There is no alternative to observing the Week to increase awareness of breastfeeding among people," he said.

About the 'breastfeeding corner' in every office, he suggested the non- government organizations would be more careful on the issue as most government organizations have it.

On the occasion, the Health Ministry, directorate of family planning, community clinics, Institute of Public Health and Nutrition and Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation have chalked out elaborate programmes including processions, rallies, training programmes on nutrition, to create awareness about breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).

Newspapers will publish special articles while televisions and radio will air programmes highlighting significance of the week.

Though the observance of the week will start tomorrow across the country Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim will inaugurate the Week formally at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on August 2 in presence of senior officials and experts.

Ends/ 31, 2016

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