Supporting Breastfeeding Together
Breastfeeding Week, 1 – 7 October 2017
PRISTINA, 01 October 2017 - From 1st to 7th of October 2017, UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Save the Children will mark the Breastfeeding Week in Kosovo. This week is organized jointly with the University Medical Clinical Center, Main Family Health Facilities, Baby Friendly Institution working group, Red Cross of Kosovo, Midwife Association, Association for Mother and Children, mothers group in social media.
Every country around the world observes World Breastfeeding Week each year for good reason: breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments that a country, a community and a family can make.
The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Supporting Breastfeeding Together,” because all of us—governments, decision-makers, development partners, professional bodies, academia, media, advocates and other stakeholders—must work together to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new ways to invest in and support breastfeeding for a more sustainable future.
“Breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a society development. There is a well-established evidence that exclusive Breastfeeding saves lives and protects the health of mothers and babies.” Said Brandão Có, Head of UNICEF Office in Kosovo.
Breastfeeding helps provide children everywhere with the healthiest start to life. It acts as the child’s first vaccine by providing antibodies. It contributes to healthy growth and development, protecting children during their critical first two years, as well as later in life. From Breastfeeding also benefits mothers by decreasing their risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and diabetes.
Breastfeeding is good not only for mothers and babies. It is critical for achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It improves nutrition (SDG2), prevents child mortality and decreases the risk of non-communicable diseases (SDG3), and supports cognitive development and education (SDG4). Breastfeeding is also an enabler to ending poverty, promoting economic growth and reducing inequalities.
Although Kosovo has a Law on Breastfeeding that supports and promotes exclusive breastfeeding, many children under 6 months of age, are still not exclusively breastfed. For example, the Multiple Indicator Cluster survey revealed that only 40 percent of children under 6 months are exclusively breastfed. Only 16 percent of children under 6 months from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo are exclusively breastfed.
This year, the Breastfeeding Week is marked by various activities, starting with a photo-exhibition, visit by the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and Save the Children to a maternity in Ferizaj, launching of post card stamp and meetings with parents, especially mothers in several municipalities.
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.