World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
This year's theme:Breastfeeding-Foundation of Life.
It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond.
This year, WHO is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of helping mothers breastfeed their babies within that crucial first hour of life. Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the production of breastmilk, including colostrum, also called the baby’s ‘first vaccine’, which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies. Source WHO.
According to Sierra Leone National Nutrition Survey (SLNN) 2017 revealed that 31.3% of children under five are stunted. Studies has shown that breastfeeding promotes cognitive development, thus helping children learn better and become productive adults. Over the years in Sierra Leone, breastfeeding mothers do not give exclusive breastfeeding to their children. More mothers breastfeed when they receive support, counselling and education in health centres and in their communities.
As part of this year's observation of the week, FOCUS 1000 is committed to observe the week with the following four (4) key activities:
Attend the National World Breastfeeding Week Press Conference at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Conference Hall Young Building Freetown Tuesday 31st July, 2018
Organise breastfeeding week community engagement sensitization talk for 20 pregnant women and 20 suckling mothers that will be facilitated by FOCUS 1000 Kombra Network Western Urban at the Macauley Street Mountain Cut Hospital on Friday 6th August, 2018.
Support Kombra Media Network with facilitation fee to conduct radio discussion programs across the country 1-7th August
Design poster and infographic flayers to be shared to members of the press and key audience on key facts on breastfeeding through social media.