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Breastfeeding week marked in BIH

In festivity of World’s Breastfeeding Week, celebrated in BIH from 9 to 15 October 2005, the International Baby-Food Action Network (IBFAN) BiH and UNICEF BiH are organizing traditional exhibition of children’s drawings. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding, WABA, announced the first Breastfeeding week celebration in 1992. Since that time, the Week is celebrated under a specific slogan, and this year, the official theme in more than 120 countries will be “Breastfeeding and family foods – loving and healthy”.

Some 500 pre-school students, aged 3-5, from 7 BIH cities; Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar, Nova Bila, Travnik, Visoko and Sanski Most participated in this celebration by submitting paintings about breastfeeding within a family. The special six-member jury consisting of pedagogues and artists will announce the best paintings and assign five prices.

IBFAN and UNICEF have been collaborating for almost ten years, promoting breastfeeding in BIH. The celebration of Breastfeeding week is another way to raise the public awareness on the critical impact breastfeeding has to growth, development and health of the children.

“As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. There after, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. In BIH nearly all mothers had at least initiated breastfeeding.  Thus 94.8% of children in the FBiH and 95.8% in the RS were breastfed at least once.  However, exclusive breastfeeding is not commonly practiced, and breastfeeding ceases altogether for most children by the age of five months, and our goal is to change this practice.” said Dr. Mira Ademovic, President of IBFAN for BIH.

“This year’s message sent through celebration of the World breastfeeding week highlights not only nutritive importance of breastfeeding, but the wider impact of breastfeeding has to child and family. The act of breastfeeding develops the physical and caring bonds between mother and baby – beginning the positive socialization of an infant within her environment. It is the first manifestation of love and security for a baby within the family – the baby’s safe haven.”, said Helena Eversole, UNICEF Representative in BIH, in favor of the celebration



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