‘Media should play role in promotion of breastfeeding’
ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday said that media should play effective role in protection and promotion of breastfeeding practice in Pakistan.
They were speaking at a meeting of media alliance members for joint celebration of Global Breastfeeding Week 2010. The meeting was organised by the Network. A week-long drive of awareness and advocacy activities by Civil Society Alliance was also launched during this meeting.
Global Breastfeeding Week (GBWk) is celebrated every year from Aug 1 to 7 to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.
The theme for Global Breastfeeding Week 2010 is: “Breastfeeding: just 10 steps! The baby-friendly way.” It highlights the need to protect, promote and support breastfeeding by implementing ten very simple yet very effective steps of breastfeeding initiation in health facilities and communities which immensely contributes towards improving infant and young child survival, health and development.
Dr Rafay, representative of The Network, highlighted the importance of educating the pregnant women regarding the importance of breastfeeding.
Talking about the Rules and regulations of Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Ordinance 2002, he said although the rules were notified in 2009, its dissemination at larger level and implementation was still a dream.
He said lack of awareness and willingness of mothers and communities to promote exclusive breastfeeding due to taboos, lack of maternity protection at workplace, implementation of rules and guidelines of the BF Ordinance 2002 and reluctance of baby milk industry’s compliance with BF were major issues concerning breastfeeding promotion.
Addressing the participants, Adviser to Prime Minister on Women Development Yasmeen Rehman said that access to the latest products in the market needed to be replaced by breastfeeding practice. To make this happen every stakeholder would have to take the responsibility of educating communities about the significance of BF.
She said media had a vital role in promoting awareness of the significance of breastfeeding. She further highlighted the need of launching a health TV channel for raising awareness among communities of the importance of breastfeeding.
She also suggested the need for facilitating working women so they could keep their children along with them at workplaces and feed them.
Sheeba Afghani, representative of Unicef, pointed towards the need for improved collaboration among all the stakeholders working for promotion and protection of BF in the country.
According to statistics, In Pakistan, 72 infants die out of 1,000 live births every year. But out of these 72 deaths, 53 are those who die before reaching one month of age due to diarrhoea, pneumonia, respiratory infections and malnutrition.