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Celebrating WBW2017 in Central and South Asia

  |   SUN Civil Society Network, SUN Country Network, SUN Donor Network

Enjoy our round-up from Central and South Asian SUN Countries of the 25th World Breastfeeding Week (WBW2017). Celebrated under the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together!”, these collective efforts are bringing attention to breastfeeding’s remarkable ability to provide the nourishment needed for the growth, development and survival of infants around the world.

In Kyrgyzstan, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project, together with the Republican Center for Health Promotion and other local partners, celebrated WBW2017 by launching new breastfeeding corners in 10 Family Medicine Centers across Jalalabad and Naryn Oblasts. These corners provide breastfeeding mothers private space and equipment to feed their babies, as well as informational materials about the benefits of breastfeeding in children’s growth and development.

When I’m breastfeeding my child I feel like I’m giving him the best I can give. Taking care of my baby and attending to his needs is more important to me than what people say about me,”

Aliya Shagieva, breastfeeding advocate and daughter of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev.

In Bangladesh, various seminars on appropriate feeding practices were held across the country and an elaborate programme at Daffodil International University (DIU) disseminated the scientific evidence based knowledge for the development of awareness for breastfeeding.

The Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal scaled up awareness programmes across the country. During a press conference at the Department, Raj Kumar Pokharel, the chief of nutrition section, Child Health Division, recognised breastfeeding as the first immunisation for a newborn. However, due to misconceptions and lack of awareness about breastfeeding, many mothers seem reluctant to breastfeed their babies. Additionally, Rajendra Panta, director general  at the Department of Health Services, said the country had achieved success in controlling maternal and child mortality, but had failed to prevent untimely deaths of children.

Pakistan’s Aga Khan University Hospital developed education posters, tailored to relate to local audiences and Dr. Abdul Baseer Khan Achakzai, Director/National Program Manager, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination joined a local radio station to attract political support, media attention and the participation of young people and widen the pool of breastfeeding advocates. The radio show was hosted by Tanveer Razvi and Zoha Malik and producer by Inam Soomro of PBC Islamabad. Pakistan’s provincial level activities included the Balochistan nutrition cell, health department running of an awareness campaign, with community, media, religious, leaders, school and teachers of colleges.

We need champions and ambassadors for breastfeeding, including women athletes, film stars and others, who can openly talk about breastfeeding and encourage other women to do it. But most importantly we need male champions,”

Angela Kearney, Unicef representative in Pakistan, further reiterating WBW2017 sentiments in an interview with Dawn.

Links related to WBW2017 in Central and South Asia

Background to World Breastfeeding Week

The World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017 is about working together for the common good. Coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), the exciting week from 1-7 August is celebrated each year to recognise the importance of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. The week is based on the Innocenti Declarations, the recently launched Ten Links for Nurturing the Future: The Investment Case for Breastfeeding and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.

Read more about this year’s theme >

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