Health and Nutrition



World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week has been celebrated every year since 1995. While its goal is to inform and sensitize all of us, and mothers in particular, above all it aims to mobilize the entire community.

The objective of World Breastfeeding Week 2008 is to:

  • To expand awarenes of the need for and the value of providing support to a breastfeeding mother
  •  To disseminate updated information about support for breastfeeding mothers
  •  To create optimal conditions for the provision of mother support in all cercles of support

This year’s theme is: "Mother Support: Going for the Gold. Everyone Win!"

In Côte d’Ivoire, intensified promotion of breastfeeding began in November 1991 thanks to the “Baby-Friendly Hospitals” initiative driven by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the International Baby Food Action Network Côte d'Ivoire (IBFAN-CI).
Thanks to this initiative, many hospitals actively support maternal breastfeeding and the number of breastfeeding women has increased significantly.

The results of the third Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS3) shows a decrease in the exclusive breastfeeding rate of 4.3% in 2006, compared to 11.6% in 2002 (MICS figures, respectively). This drop may be related to the insufficient number of counseling trainers for maternal breastfeeding in hospitals with the Baby-Friendly Label. Today, because of the professional mobility of trained health workers, none of the originally 114 Baby-Friendly Hospitals actually fulfills the criteria applied to Baby-Friendly Hospitals. And only 21 out of 116 Peer Support Groups initially formed are still operational.
Based on this analysis, together with the Ministry of Public Health and UNICEF, IBFAN-CI has re-initiated the creation and training of 10 breastfeeding peer support groups. Visits to sensitize and relaunch these support groups have been organized in Abidjan and the Moyen Comoé region.

In Côte d’Ivoire, promotion of exclusive maternal breastfeeding until the age of 6 months and continued breastfeeding until the age of 2 years or more requires:

  • Improved capacities of health workers and peer support groups in supporting breastfeeding mothers.
  • Reinforcement of institutional action via a ministerial order instituting reserved time space for breastfeeding (MOH’s engagement for promotion of maternal breastfeeding).
  • Organization of sensitization meetings in health care facilities.
  • Support for working mothers by developing TV/radio programs or shows together with media partners, in particular local radios, to promote breastfeeding.



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