OBJECTIVES of WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK 2009
- To draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies worldwide.
- To stress the need for active protection and support of breastfeeding before and during emergencies.
- To inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.
- To mobilise action and nurture networking and collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills and those involved in emergency response
- Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies – child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhoea, respiratory illness and malnutrition.
- Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Even in non-emergency settings, non-breastfed babies under 2 months of age are six times more likely to die.
- Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Emergencies destroy what is ‘normal,’ leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants vulnerable to disease and death.
- During emergencies, mothers need active support to continue or re-establish breastfeeding.
- Emergency preparedness is vital. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothers’ capacity to cope in an emergency.