Breastfeeding Week 2021
Breastfeeding Week 2021: Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF and the Kosovo Post partner to promote breastfeeding and COVID-19 vaccinations
Today, as a highlight of the breastfeeding week, UNICEF and Ministry of Health (MoH) partnered with the Kosovo post to promote breastfeeding and COVID-19 vaccinations through a new edition of postal stamps. A series of four different postal stamps promoting the COVID-19 vaccine among breastfeeding and pregnant mothers, teachers and young people was issued to raise awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
“In terms of the statistics gathered by the Ministry of Health, in total, 12,345 vaccines have been administered for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, from which 8,334 women were vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This conveys the message that this part of society is well informed that vaccination is the only measure to protect us from COVID-19.” – Dr. Arsim Berisha, Deputy Minister of Health.
During the breastfeeding week, we are calling all partners to provide their support and all mothers in Kosovo to continue optimal breastfeeding practices taken the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, mothers should be encouraged to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, exclusively breastfeed their infants during the first six months, and continuously breastfeed up to the time when their child is around two years and beyond. Breastfeeding is proven to be the best way to give infants all the necessary nutrients and antibodies, which helps children to be protected against common illnesses. With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Kosovo, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Ministry of Health recommend that breastfeeding mothers get the COVID-19 vaccine, and mothers who are vaccinated are encouraged to continue breastfeeding to protect their infants.
“Today two important things are culminating. On one hand we are celebrating the 2021 breastfeeding week with these beautiful stamps, while one the other hand, we are joining the Ministry of Health in the continued awareness raising campaign for COVID-19 vaccination.” – Larissa Bruun, Deputy Head of UNICEF Office in Kosovo.
Even before the pandemic, only 29 percent of children under the age of six months in Kosovo were exclusively breastfed, according to the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) 2020. While 94 percent of children have been breastfed only occasionally, yet only 32 percent have been breastfed within the first hour after birth and only 78 percent within the first day after birth.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.