We at Unicorn (MSJ Ltd) have supported the World Breastfeeding Week, a laudable initiative of the Unicef (United Nations international children fund) and of the WHO (World Health Organisation).
Breastfeeding is key to sustainable development and can contribute to reduce the mortality rate of children of less than 5 years old.
By encouraging mothers to breastfeed their baby, WHO estimates that the lives of 820 000 children under 5 could be saved throughout the world in a year.
Breastfeeding also helps to improve the long-term health of children and decrease the risk of them developing non-communicable diseases including childhood asthma and obesity.
The mothers also reap benefits since longer duration of breastfeeding helps to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of Unicef and Mrs Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO, said that breastfeeding is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere, yielding lifelong health benefits for infants and their mothers. Increasingly, it is clear that breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development.
However, they expressed their concern that breastfeeding rates have remained stagnant for the last 20 years, mainly due to too many women not receiving the information and support they need to breastfeed successfully.