World Health Organization (WHO) has urged all stakeholders to collaborate in raising awareness, provide accurate information, and create breastfeeding-friendly environments at workplaces. According to WHO, the organization is also supporting federal and provincial departments of health for promulgation of laws to promote and protect breastfeeding and child nutrition. It said that championing breastfeeding could contribute to Pakistan’s healthier generation. The organization said that it had also provided lactation management rooms in selected health facilities to provide a conducive environment where mothers would feel comfortable to breastfeed. It is important to note that counselling on maternal, infant and young child nutrition is done in all 154 WHO supported nutrition stabilisationcentres across the country enabling wide dissemination of these crucial messages to mothers and family members.
The organization is supporting government of Pakistan’s efforts in promoting, protecting and sustaining breast feeding interventions by among other things setting a network of baby friendly hospitals, provision of breastfeeding corners in health facilities, advocacy and awareness discussions with parliamentarians, media as well as academia on importance of breastfeeding and capacity building of health care workers on maternal infant young child nutrition and lactation management. While congratulating the Sindh Government, during the commemoration of World Breast Feeding Week 2023, the WHO Representative in Pakistan, Dr PalithaMahipala remarked breastfeeding saves lives of children. It is one of the most cost-effective child survival interventions. Let’s join hands to promote and protect breastfeeding.
Pakistan has high levels of stunting at 40% and wasting (low weight for height) at 17%. Despite its manifold benefits, exclusive breastfeeding rates for six months in Pakistan remain suboptimal at 48 percent. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer further underlining its significance. Additionally, it fosters a unique bond between mother and child, promoting emotional well-being for both parties.