ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 3rd August, 2016) : UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Angela Kearney on Wednesday urged to convince child specialists, pediatricians and gynecologists to stop prescribing breastmilk substitutes and encourage breastfeeding. Addressing an awareness seminar here on World Breastfeeding Week, jointly organized by the UNICEF and the Ministry of National Health Services, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, Angela Kearney said that breastfeeding is one of the most important public health interventions.
She said that it is clear and undisputed that inadequate breastfeeding - either not initiating the feeding in the first hour of birth or not exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life will affect both the health and well-being and at worst mortality of the child. She said that breastfeeding saves lives and a breastfed child is not being given dirty water which leads to life threatening infections such as diarrhea, the number one killer of children in Pakistan.
She said that a breastfed child is not being given formula which cannot confer critical immunity protection passed on from the mother to the infant and which then protects the child from a host of diseases. She said that a breastfed child is less likely to be obese in later life, less likely to have diabetes or asthma. She said UNICEF supports breastfeeding protection and promotion around the world. "In Pakistan we work closely with and support all efforts of the government at both Federal and provincial levels in our shared desire to make breastfeeding the only choice for mothers and their children.
" Angela Kearney said "This year we have seen the endorsement of a new infant and young child feeding strategy which includes the revitalization of sub-endorsement of a new infant and young child feeding strategy which includes the revitalization of sub-national infant feeding boards, bodies designed to ensure that children and their families are not exposed to false advertising and promotion of what we call breast milk substitutes. "We must also work together to make maternity sites at hospitals or homes, safe for children so that none favor or promote bottles, pacifiers and breastmilk substitutes." She said that UNICEF is just completing development of evidence based workshops for physicians and will roll out these in the coming year.