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Ethiopia benchmarks on breastfeeding

As the World Breast Feeding week comes to an end, Ethiopian delegation from ministry of health is in Botswana to benchmark on how the country adopted international code of marketing breast milk substitutes.

UNICEF nutrition officer based in Ethiopia, Mr Tesfaye Chuko told the press on August 6 that Ethiopia as member of WHO assembly was in the process of adopting the code hence their visit to Botswana to learn how the country managed in terms of monitoring mechanisms of the code.

He said UNICEF country office in Ethiopia was currently working with that country’s government to adopt the international code of marketing breast milk substitutes to protect breastfeeding. He said training had already been conducted in Addis Ababa on the code and that as a follow up of the training, UNICEF recommended that a benchmarking exercise be done in Botswana as the country was experienced in adapting and monitoring of the code of marketing breast milk substitutes.

“We are here to learn from Botswana and also to share our limited experience on the code,” he said. Mr Chuko said they had a problem with formulas or breastfeeding substitutes as they were overwhelmed with companies that advertise them in hospitals, to lure mothers into buying them instead of breastfeeding.

Botswana adopted the WHO International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes and made a regulation out of it called Marketing of Foods for Infants and Young Children Regulations published in 2005. The code promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding.

Meanwhile, Botswana will join the rest of the world to commemorate World Breastfeeding week later in October under the theme: Breastfeeding Support: Closed to Mothers Focusing on Breastfeeding Peer Counseling.

Ministry of Health, Principal Scientific Officer, Mr Hussein Tarimo said this year’s theme stresses the need to provide support to mothers so that they can initiate, establish and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices.

World Breastfeeding Week was first celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and it is now observed in 174 countries Worldwide.

Endorsed by WABA, WHO and UNICEF, World Breastfeeding week is an annual celebration which is being held from August 1-7 every year to support healthy growth and development of newborns, infants and young children.  ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Mmoniemang Motsamai

Location : Gaborone

Event : Press Brief

Date : Aug 07 Wed,2013

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