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Celebrating WBW2017 in Central and West African SUN Countries

  |   SUN Country Network

Find out how SUN Countries in Central and West Africa marked World Breastfeeding Week 2017 (WBW2017) under the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”, highlighting how breastfeeding provides the essential nutrients that infants worldwide need to grow, develop and survive.

© UNICEF Mali/2017/Luthi

In Mali, the WBW2017 inauguration ceremony was held on 1 August in SOS Children’s Village Sanankoroba. The event was led by Professor Samba Ousmane Sow, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, with technical and financial partners in attendance alongside representatives of administrative, political and health authorities from Koulikoro Region. The campaign featured a series of awareness-raising and mobilization activities to showcase the many benefits of breastfeeding.

 “I call on everyone to engage with our efforts to promote breastfeeding. This year’s theme — Sustaining Breastfeeding Together — is about ensuring employers give mothers adequate time and facilities to breastfeed their infants, getting health workers on board, and encouraging communities to foster an enabling environment around breastfeeding.”

Prof. Samba Ousmane Sow, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene.

© par as

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ministry of Public Health used WBW2017 to call on the community as a whole to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The emphasis was on securing additional funds to implement infant and newborn breastfeeding policies, programs and interventions, and especially on boosting the percentage of children breastfed between birth and 2 years of age. The ministry also urged the community to fully enforce the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which states that breastmilk substitutes cannot be promoted, advertised or sold as being suitable for infants under 6 months of age. Members of the Friends of the Child Journalists Network (RJAE) were asked to help promote breastfeeding among parents, focusing in particular on exclusive breastfeeding up to the age of 6 months. The journalists attended an information day led by the UNICEF national nutrition program, where they learned about the benefits of breastfeeding and how they could play their part in promoting best practice and educating the community.

Guinée Conakry. Dispensaire ‘’Saint Gabriel’’ sis au quartier Matoto

In Guinea, WBW2017 kicked off on 1 August 2017 with an opening ceremony at the Saint Gabriel dispensary in the Matoto district of Conakry — a joint event organized by NGO Terre des Hommes, the dispensary itself and the National Institute of Child Health and Nutrition (INSE). The ceremony — led by INSE director Dr. Ibrahima Kalil Koné and attended by several other guests — aimed to showcase the benefits of breastfeeding for infants. The week-long celebrations drew to a close with a ceremony attended by Djene Kaba Condé, Guinea’s First Lady.

“The 2015 SMART survey showed that breastfeeding rates are up from 18% to 21%, but we are still a long way from hitting the 50% mark. We must do everything we can to promote breastfeeding to people, families and communities across Guinea. Our goal is to bring health to all.”

Dr. Naman Keita, health and motherhood program coordinator, Terre des Hommes.


In Comoros, the WBW2017 launch ceremony took place on 1 August at Morono Urban Health Center, under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, Solidarity, Social Welfare and Gender Promotion, working in partnership with the Grande Comore Health Commission and United Nations specialized agencies (UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA).

La cérémonie officielle du lancement de LA SEMAINE MONDIALE DE L’ALLAITEMENT MATERNEL 2017 a eu lieu ce Mardi 1er Aout…

Publicado por Unicef Comores em Terça-feira, 1 de agosto de 2017


In Chad, the inauguration ceremony was chaired by Mrs. Ngarmbatina Soukate, Minister of Social Action and Family, and Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF representative in Chad.

Links to events in SUN countries in French Speaking African SUN Countries (in French)

Benin: Message from the Minister of Health to mark World Breastfeeding Week

Comoros: UNICEF Comoros

Republic of the Congo: Allafrica News

Guinea:  Kibarounews AfricaGuinee

About World Breastfeeding Week

The World Breastfeeding Week is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declarations, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future, and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. World Breastfeeding Week 2017 (1-7 August 2017) is about working together for the common good.

More about this year’s theme>

More about breastfeeding:

Babies and mothers worldwide failed by lack of investment in breastfeeding

WHO infographics

10 facts on breastfeeding

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