Protecting Breastfeeding in West and Central Africa
In West and Central Africa - the region of the world with the highest infant mortality rates and the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates - policy and program action to protect, promote and support improved breastfeeding practices particularly exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life - have the potential to be the single most important child survival intervention. Twenty-five years after its adoption by the World Health Assembly, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes remains as important as ever for child survival in West and Central Africa.
This review of progress in the implementation of the International Code in West and Central Africa identifies eight major lessons learned:
- Championship in linking infant feeding and child survival to national priorities is essential to advance national action to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes.
- A clearly defined scope is essential for national legislation on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes to be effectively implemented.
- International declarations and statements are among the most important stimuli for national action to implement the International Code.
- Ensuring the support and leadership of health professionals is essential to endorse and enact national legislation on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes.
- Training on Code implementation is instrumental to national implementation of the International Code.
- Effective implementation of the International Code at the national level requires provisions and capacity related to monitoring compliance with the legislative framework
- Effective implementation of the International Code at the national level requires provisions and capacity to enforce the legislative framework.
- Integration into a multi-pronged strategy to advance child feeding, nutrition and survival is essential to ensure effective national implementation of the International Code.
Download the report [pdf - 722 KB]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Breastfeeding practices in West and Central Africa
- What is the International Code and why is it necessary?
- The International Code in the context of child survival
- The International Code in the context of HIV/AIDS
- The International Code in the context of emergencies
- The International Code in West and Central Africa