People in the country have more and more interests in breastfeeding as they recognize very much its benefits for their families and that it is a cost effective way of making the baby gets the best nutrition, according to a WHO official.
Exclusive breastfeeding alone can prevent 13% of the child deaths. It’s one the most effective ways to avoid preventable deaths of children and it does not cost anything, World Health Oganisation Representative, Dr Juliet Fleischl gave an interview to the media last week on the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Day 2017.
I congratulate the health provider’s efforts in promoting mothers to hold their babies on skin to skin and start breastfeed from the very first moment of their lives as a part of early essential newborn care, which is the first step towards exclusive breastfeeding, said Dr Juliet Fleischl.
WHO has been supporting the introduction of the early central newborn here and exclusive breastfeeding here in Laos for many years. Over the last few years the efforts have intensified and now there’s exclusive breastfeeding at national and also provincial hospitals and we’re very pleased to see this. So the early central newborn kid package has been rolled out across the country, said Dr Juliet Fleischl.
Exclusive breastfeeding means newborns receive only breast milk during their first 6 months of life, without any additional food or drink, as breast milk provides infants with all the energy and nutrients they need, and continues to be a key supplement to their growth during the first two years of life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth and until the baby is 6 months old. Globally, some 77 million newborns � or 1 in 2 � are not put to the breast within an hour of birth, depriving them of the essential nutrients, antibodies and skin-to-skin contact with their mothers that protect them from disease and death.
Although, Laos has made considerable progress toward improving the number of mothers who exclusively breastfeed their children to 6 months of age, only 40 per cent of babies receive this important good start in life.
Formula use in Lao PDR has also increased substantially. The use of powdered milk or other breastmilk substitutes more than tripled between 2006 and 2011, increasing by approximately 15 per cent in urban areas.
Research also shows that formula is being used increasingly in many of the country’s most remote areas.
Source: Lao News Agency