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Uzbekistan celebrates World Breastfeeding Week to Promote Sustainable Development Goals and Improve Well-being of Children and Women
TASHKENT, 2 August 2016 – The Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) convened a press conference dedicated to the World Breastfeeding Week today.
The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. The theme of the week in 2016 is ‘Breastfeeding: A key for Sustainable Development’. The main purpose is to inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding.
“Over the last two decades, UNICEF has worked in close coordination with the Government of Uzbekistan, and we have made significant progress in realizing the rights of the children and women in the country, especially in the field of mother and child health,” said Berina Arslanagic-Ibisevic, UNICEF Representative a.i. in Uzbekistan. She added “In fact, UNICEF is pleased to see that exclusive breastfeeding has been included as a critical behavior in the home visiting plans of patronage nurses, as it can save lives of children.”
The World Breastfeeding Week is commemorated nationwide in Uzbekistan. Health workers, families and communities are engaged in activities such as certification of baby friendly hospitals, briefings and consultations for parents and discussions in mothers’ support group meetings.
The Ministry of Health and the Republican Specialized Scientific Medical Centre of Pediatrics actively support Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). As per the official record, 96 health care facilities of the country have BFHI certificates. Two more facilities– the Perinatal Center of Tashkent region in Chirchik city and Namangan branch of Republican Specialized Scientific Practical Medical Center of Obstetrician-Genecology will be certified as baby-friendly hospitals during this week.
“Children who are breastfed for longer periods have lower rates of infectious disease and death than children who are breastfed for shorter periods or who are not breastfed.” said Prof. Dilorom Akhmedova, Director of the Republican Specialized Scientific Practical Medical Centre of Pediatrics.
The Ministry of Health and UNICEF continue to collaborate to build capacity of health workers to promote exclusive breastfeeding in the communities. During the implementation of a joint project, about 3,800 health care providers from all regions were trained to counsel on the advantages of Exclusive Breastfeeding. This helped to improve capacity of nurses to counsel mothers and other family members on breastfeeding.
Note for editors:
Exclusive breastfeeding rate in Uzbekistan was 54.4% in 2015 according to the MoH data. The highest rates of exclusive breastfeeding were reported in Bukhara and Karakalpakstan (above 60 per cent).
According to data from the Republican Specialized Scientific Medical Centre of Pediatrics, the exclusive breastfeeding rate in the country is more than 90 per cent at the time of discharge from maternity facilities. However, the rate declines to 50 per cent in the subsequent months.
For further information, please contact:
Press Secretary, Ministry of Health
Phone: +998 (90) 944-7811
Deputy Director, Republican Specialized Scientific Medical Centre of Pediatrics
Phone: +998 (98) 309-7067
Communication Officer, UNICEF Uzbekistan
Phone: +998 (93) 380-3419