The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is the greatest outreach vehicle for the breastfeeding movement being celebrated in over 120 countries. Officially it is celebrated from 1 - 7 August.
Breastfeeding has an important link to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are meant to be achieved this year! Although poverty has gone down, 1 in 8 people still go to bed hungry. Undernutrition affects about a quarter of all children globally.
In the last 2 decades, child mortality has decreased by about 40%, but still almost 7 million children under five die each year, mainly from preventable diseases. As the overall rate of under-five mortality has declined, the proportion of neonatal deaths (during the first month of life) comprises an increasing proportion of all child deaths. Globally, maternal mortality has declined from 400 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 210 in 2010, but fewer than half of women deliver in baby-friendly maternities.
By protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, YOU can contribute to each of the MDGs in a substantial way. Exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding are key interventions for improving child survival, potentially saving about 20% of children under five.