Breastfeeding: A winning goal for life
Breastfeeding Week, 1 – 7 October 2014
Prishtina/KOSOVO - From 1st to 7th of October 2014, UNICEF Office in Kosovo in cooperation with the Ministry of Health will mark the Breast Feeding Week in Kosovo with motto “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – for life”.
This year’s breastfeeding week will be marked in Gjakova, jointly with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the Mayor of Gjakova on Thursday 2 October, in the Main Family Medicine Center, where we will discuss with parents about the importance of breastfeeding and family support in child well-being and in the healthy start in life.
This event contributes also to UNICEF programmatic initiative “Gjakova fit for children” which entails inclusiveness and accountability for progressive realization of Children’s Rights.
Following the event in MFMC in Gjakova, representatives of the Ministry of Health, UNICEF Office, Major of Gjakova and representatives of local health authorities – will be visiting a birthing centre in Gjakova hospital where young mothers will be encouraged to practice breastfeeding followed by distribution of promotional materials on the importance of breastfeeding.
Every year, UNICEF with its partners celebrates Breastfeeding Week with the aim to highlight the critical role and importance of breast feeding for infants’ physical, emotional and psychological development.
Breastfeeding Week highlights the vital role the breastfeeding plays in the lives of children and critical importance of promoting the value of breastfeeding globally, nationally and at the community level.
“Giving all children the best start in life begins with breastfeeding – one of the simplest, smartest, and most cost-effective ways we have of supporting healthier children, stronger families and sustainable growth”, says Mr. Antony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF for occasion of Breastfeeding Week 2014.
Since 1990, the number of children under 5 year are dying from preventable causes declined by 47%. However, globally each year nearly 7 million children die before reaching fifth birthday and about 40 % are newborns.
Immediate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth could prevent 1 in 5 of these deaths and prevent more than 500,000 deaths.
Ms. Laila Omar Gad, Head of UNICEF Office in Kosovo stated that the “evidence of science clearly documents the advantages of breastfeeding, in terms of decline in child mortality, and in promoting child growth and cognitive development, contributing to improved outcomes in health in later years and in improved educational attainment ”.
Recognizing these benefits, more government are putting breastfeeding at the centre of their nutrition programmes and the number of countries with increasing breastfeeding rates continues to grow.
In this sense research has shown that continuous support of mothers both within the family and in health facilities contributes to increased breast feeding initiatives and encourages exclusive breastfeeding.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake states ”Let’s come together again in the spirit of progress and score for children by making breastfeeding a global priority – to help give every child the best possible start in life”.
Improving the health status of children in Kosovo remains one of the top priorities for UNICEF and its partner organisations. With the Ministry of Health, other partners and institutions, UNICEF is supporting regularly activities and interventions that support breastfeeding and adequate infant and young child feeding. UNICEF Office in Kosovo during this week will broadcast a video clip in national televisions to sensitise population for breastfeeding, support printing of different promotional materials for health facilities.
UNICEF Office in Kosovo will continue to work with partners to further promote and protect breastfeeding in order to give to the child the healthy start in life!
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.
November 20 marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. The CRC has made a world of difference in the lives of millions of children, but this historic milestone must serve both as an urgent reminder of the millions whose rights are not realized – and an opportunity to renew our commitment to reach every child, especially the most disadvantaged.