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Breastfeeding: A simple way to save young lives

TIRANA July 2, 2007 – Several reports released by WHO/UNICEF have shown that a child who is breastfed is almost three times more likely to survive infancy than a child who is not breastfed. In support of this, a sub-regional training course on the “Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes” will take place in Tirana from 2 to 6 July, 2007 at Hotel Tirana.

The International Code, adopted by almost all countries, establishes minimum standards to regulate marketing practices by setting out the responsibilities of companies, health workers and governments and provides standards for the labeling of breast milk substitutes.

Albania is among the few countries in the region that have adopted this code as law. The exclusive breastfeeding rate at six months has reached 40 per cent compared to 23 per cent in 2002. WHO/UNICEF’s recommendations state that all infants should be exclusively breastfeed until they are 6 months old.

There have been notable achievements in Albania, however, challenges remain regarding the implementation and monitoring of the law, increasing the number of maternity hospitals that implement the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding as part of their service standards, and further increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates. 

"Breastfeeding and good nutrition for children are essential to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, particularly the goals related to child survival, such as reducing child mortality by 50 per cent by 2015" said Carrie Auer, UNICEF representative in Albania.

The sub-regional training course is organized jointly by the UNICEF, International Baby Food Action Network EUROPE, and IBFAN International Code Documentation Center in Penang, Malaysia. The training course aims to strengthen the governments’ capacity in drafting, implementing and enforcing the International Code for Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

Representatives from the Ministry of Health, IBFAN, representatives from regional UNICEF office and Regional Adviser from WHO, Europe will attended the event along with other representatives from countries like Russia, Romania, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Bulgaria and Turkmenistan.          

For further information please contact: 

Anila Miria- Communication officer                       
Tel: +355 4 273 335.6.7.8. ext. 18           

Mariana Bukli – Health Project Officer
Tel: +355 4 273 335.
Email: mbukli                                                  




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