Jennifer Howze - one of BritMums co-founders, and Michelle Pannell - Mummy from the Heart, went to Ethiopia with ONE.org, an organization dedicated to fight against poverty and preventable disease. They're inviting other bloggers to join their voices to theirs and raise awarness towards ONE's work and their latest campaign.
As a student breastfeeding counsellor when I read what ONE is fighting against and how they campaign for 'putting nutrition on the global agenda', of course I think of breastfeeding.
So many lives can be saved from encouraging and protecting breastfeeding.
The babies' by :
- giving them the antibodies they need when they're born, the antibodies acting as a first immunization
- reducing the number of death from infection (particularly diahrrea and respirotary infections)
- providing them with the only food adapted for their immature guts
- also providing them with all the nutrients they need to grow more healthy
- overall reducing the risk of neonatal death
The mums' by :
- reducing the risk of haemorrhage after birth (associated with a third of maternal death in Africa)
UNICEF says "it has been estimated that optimal breastfeeding of children under two
years of age has the potential to prevent 1.4 million deaths in children
under five in the developing world annually" (see here)
Strategies are needed at a National level :
- developpement and application of young child feeding policies
- enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
- trainging health workers in breastfeeding counselling
- implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative
- support for mothers (community health workers, breastfeeding counsellors, mother-to-mother support)
"Exclusive breastfeeding tops the table of life-saving interventions for
newborns. Babies who do not exclusively breastfeed are six times more
likely to die from diarrheoa or respiratory infections than babies who
do." (UNICEF, 2009)
Supporting breastfeeding in Ethiopia.