Saturday, August 1, 2009

World Breastfeeding Week August 1 - 7, 2009
A Vital Emergency Response

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  • 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.

1 comment:

  1. Since I live in an area that has been hit by three hurricanes in the past four years, I can attest to the fact that stuff happens!

    I can't imagine what it was like for bottlefeeding moms who didn't evacuate and then were without electricity, and sometimes water too. Since it is not feasible to evacuate Houston (as we discovered during Rita) Houstonians had to "shelter in place" for Ike. Afterward many lived without basic services for weeks.

    We were lucky enough to spend our several weeks of evacuation after both Rita and Ike in motel rooms that had little refrigerators and microwaves, but can you imagine having a bottle feeding baby and being stuck in a motel room without such amenities?

    Of course, all of that pales in comparison to what someone deals with after an earthquake in China, a monsoon in Bangladesh, being a refugee in a war torn country - or an evacuee in the Superdome.


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