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2018 World Breastfeeding Week in West African SUN Countries

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BREASTFEEDING: Foundation of Life

World Breastfeeding Week is to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding. Join us in our support for breastfeeding mothers. Why? Because breastfeeding is a universal solution that helps every child start out in life on equal terms. It also improves the health, well-being and survival of the women and children of the world. This year’s slogan for World Breastfeeding Week, promoted by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), is: Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life and it expands it by saying, “In a world filled with inequality, crises and poverty, breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers.


 

Benin

From 25 to 30 September 2018, Benin is celebrating the 26th World Breastfeeding Week in Dassa, which is hosting the official launch of the events. Organised by the Minister of Health, the World Breastfeeding Week 2018 will aim to raise awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding and to emphasize that exclusive breastfeeding, and especially early breastfeeding, are the basis of life; and on the importance of getting a wide range of local nutrition actors involved in the promotion, protection and support of exclusive breastfeeding. During the celebration, exclusive breastfeeding models women will be identified in each village in the commune of Dassa – they will act as breastfeeding advocate among their communities. 

Côte d’Ivoire

On August 16, the 2018 World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated in Grand-Bassam and organized by the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, through the National Nutrition Program (PNN).  In Côte d’Ivoire, the exclusive breastfeeding rate is estimated at 23.6 per cent, according to the latest MICS survey (2016).

The World Breastfeeding Week was also the occasion to launch the vitamin A supplementation and deworming programs. Vitamin A supplementation for girls and boys aged six to 59 months and deworming 12 to 59 months, once every six months, is one of the strategies to reduce the infant mortality rate in Côte d’Ivoire. Mothers will now be able to regularly visit the 28 health district centers for doses prescribed for their children in the age group.

The national goal is to reach a rate of 50 pr cert by 2020. Vitamin A is a micronutrient essential for the growth and development of the child. It helps prevent and mitigate the severity of many infections by strengthening the immune system. It reduces infant mortality by 30 per cent, deaths by measles by 50 per cent and diarrhea by 40 per cent.  In Côte d’Ivoire, hypovitaminosis A and parasitosis are still a risk for 60 per cent of children aged 0 to 59 months, according to ENMCI 2004.

Mali

The celebration of 2018  World Breastfeeding Week was held yesterday in Koro. After explaining the importance of exclusive breastfeeding by the midwifes, five women were awarded  for correctly applying breastfeeding techniques.

 

Mauritania

On August 16, the National 2018 Breastfeeding Week was launched at the Mother and Child Hospital in Nouakchott, and chaired by the First Lady of Mauritania, Mariem Mint Ahmed said Tekber. On this occasion, Naha Mint Hamdi Ould Mouknass, Minister of Social Affairs, Children and the Family, Minister of Health ad interim received on behalf of the First Lady the shield of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement as the first godmother of nutrition in Mauritania. This shield was handed over by Mr. Hervé Peries, resident representative of UNICEF in Mauritania.

Ghana

The nutrition department of Ghana Health Service  held a press Briefing on Breastfeeding as part of on going activities in celebrating this year’s WBW2018 at Ridge Hospital. During the briefing UNICEF presented some data related to breastfeed in Ghana. According to UNICEF in the country, there has been good progress in early initiation of breastfeeding, from 35 per cent in 2006 to 56 per cent in 2016. The 6-month exclusive breastfeeding rate has been stagnating for a decade.

During the World Breastfeeding Week a new Facebook group was launched: Breastfeed4Ghana. Let’s Feed Ghana’s Future. Breastfeed4Ghana is a social media-based campaign to increase awareness and knowledge to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding mothers in Ghana. This campaign is for mothers, families, co-workers, employers, health professionals and the general public. Its aim is to spread high quality, accurate and relevant information and resources on breastfeeding. Such as the health benefits of breastfeeding and the needs of breastfeeding women at home, in public and in the work place. This campaign is led by the University of Ghana and Yale School of Public Health.

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