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National Breastfeeding Week in Turkmenistan focuses on supporting breastfeeding mothers

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 1 September 2008

“Mother support: going for the gold” is the motto of the annual National Breastfeeding Week, which is carried out this year in Turkmenistan in the week of 1-7 September in conjunct with the Olympics.

The Breastfeeding Week calls for greater support for mothers in achieving the gold standard of infant feeding: breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and providing appropriate complementary foods with continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond. The breastfeeding campaign during the week, run by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan with UNICEF’s support, will promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases and fostering growth and development.

The campaign will target breastfeeding mothers and their families who can support them to provide the golden start for every child. An SMS message on exclusive breastfeeding will start the campaign and will be followed by the video spot broadcast on national TV and distribution of posters in all maternity and health houses in the country.

Additionally, all 100,000 breastfeeding mothers will receive a booklet that contains information on the benefits of breastfeeding, principles of exclusive breastfeeding and significance of the timely and correct introduction of supplementary food from 6 months. Family doctors, nurses and the medical academic institutions will undergo a series of training on the latest recommendations for feeding and nutrition of infants and young children and will receive a book on breastfeeding published by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.

UNICEF works with partners, governments and communities to protect and promote breastfeeding by supporting national infant-feeding legislation, improving ante- and post-natal care and boosting resources for new mothers at the community level.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Ayadil Saparbekov UNICEF Health & Nutrition Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/86/86 Fax: +99312 420830

Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova
UNICEF Communication Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/86/86 Fax: +99312 420830





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