Breastfeeding Week 2014
Breastfeeding Week 2014
This week is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). CLP is promoting the practice of breastfeeding on the chars by holding rallies and having open discussions in partnership with the local government health department. This year’s WBW aims to emphasise the importance of mothers breastfeeding their children as well as family members giving mothers support. With the Millennium Development Goals expiring in 2015, this year WBW also aims to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for the post 2015 agenda. How breastfeeding relates to each MDG can be seen in the image below created by WABA:
In Bangladesh the Government’s Health Department has taken significant steps to increase the exclusive breastfeeding rate, which recent data shows shot up to 64 percent in 2011 from around 42% in 2007. The Bangladesh Government’s slogan for this year’s breastfeeding week is: “Maer dudh ar ghore toiri khabar, lokho hobe sofol jibon pabar” which means: “Breastfeeding and homemade food, key targets of a healthy life”. Homemade food is a new addition to WBW in Bangladesh and is being highlighted this year to reduce the use of powdered milk being used which does not have sufficient nutrients for babies.
CLP’s Direct Nutrition Intervention Project (DNIP) is promoting breastfeeding by working with local government at the Upazilla level to hold rallies as well as develop posters and leaflets. At the village level, CLP’s Implementing Organisations (IMOs) are also holding open discussions with char dwellers about the benefits of breastfeeding, both for the child and the mother. The DNIP focuses on improving the nutritional status of core participant households, especially for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children under two, and adolescent girls. Specific activities include one-on-one counselling on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and hygiene promotion, the provision of iron and folic acid tablets to pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls and the provision of deworming tablets for all family members except pregnant women during their first trimester. Micro Nutrient Powder (MNP) is also provided to children from 6 months to 2 years old. All interventions are free of charge. The CLP also improves the nutritional status of its core participants through a number of other indirect interventions including:
- improving access to improved water and adequate sanitation;
- providing training on nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene;
- promoting homestead gardening which also acts as another potential source of income ;
- providing an income-generating asset, which becomes the basis for a sustainable livelihood.