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While an article from the New York Times has recently accused the United States of attempting to contain the recent World Health Organization’s resolution in favor of breastfeeding, Action Against Hunger reminds its international engagement alongside the parents who wish to breastfeed their children.
The World Breastfeeding Week takes place every year from August 1st to 7th. This represents an opportunity for Action Against Hunger to remind that the best practice of breastfeeding could save the life of more than 800 000 children under 5, per year. However, this practice is today impeded by formula milk companies’ lobbies.
Last May, we launched a campaign and a petition: “Let Them Choose”, asking to the formula milk companies to stop their abusive marketing practices, which dreadfully impact the parents’ choices and the newborns’ health.
Our aim is that the companies will truly respect the World Health Organization’s formula milk commercialization Code. The petition is on the verge to reach the 10 000 signatures in France, and it already brushes the 30 000 signatures on the European scale.
The campaign represents a means to tackle the issue of formula milk products’ aggressive marketing, by targeting the manufacturing companies directly. However, on the field, many Action Against Hunger’s missions are addressing this phenomena as well and support the mothers who wish to breastfeed.
In Madagascar, Action Against Hunger, has implemented the CASAN project (which stands for Social Accompaniment and Nutritional Support Center). Since 2013, this program has set for goals the nutritional, medical and psychosocial care of pregnant or breastfeeding women and children between 6 months and 5 year old, who suffer from moderately acute malnutrition. As part of the program, sessions are also staged to raise awareness among the mothers and assist them regarding breastfeeding and nutrition’s best practices and techniques.
In Bangladesh, Action Against Hunger has set up breastfeeding advice activities in the context of nutritional programs intended for Rohingyas refugees, living in camps. We have also settled ten baby-friendly spaces in the official camps of Cox’s Bazar, where we provide pieces of advice on breastfeeding as well, among other psychosocial support activities targeting mothers and children.
In Cameroun, we establish advocacy activities in relation with other organizations in order to foster breastfeeding and for a better regulation of formula milk products. Those actions, such as producing a case study, staging meetings… aim to approach various audiences, for instance parliamentarians, ministers, embassies… Advocacy operations are also implemented in Sierra Leone or in Nigeria.
For further information on our breastfeeding advocacy operations at the World Health Assembly,