Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

August 4, 2011 by PATH

Malawi joins global movement to reduce stunted growth in children through breastfeeding and other measures

PATH joins the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and colleagues around the world in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7. Throughout the week, the PATH-led Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project will collaborate with partners to celebrate and promote breastfeeding awareness in Ethiopia, Haiti, Malawi, Nigeria, and several other countries.

In Malawi, the IYCN Project is hailing progress and commitments by the government and other stakeholders toward ending stunted growth among children. On July 28, the government held a meeting to launch Scaling Up Nutrition, a strategic approach to reduce maternal and child undernutrition through the implementation of evidence-based solutions, including breastfeeding. At the meeting, the government and a wide range of stakeholders committed to cutting the rate of stunting among children (41 percent) in half by 2015.

Simple solutions can improve child nutrition

“We know what interventions work to reduce stunting,” said Janet Guta, country coordinator of the IYCN Project in Malawi. Simple actions by caregivers, such as lengthening breastfeeding sessions to produce more milk, can prevent malnutrition and ensure healthier children, according to a study conducted by the IYCN Project in collaboration with the Malawi Government, the World Bank, and Bunda College of Agriculture, and presented at the Scaling Up Nutrition meeting.

“With this knowledge of what works and the overwhelming support demonstrated by a broad range of leaders, we can build a healthier future for mothers, children, and all Malawians,” Guta said.

Scaling Up Nutrition: A Framework for Action is supported by more than 100 organizations and entities to support evidence-based solutions to undernutrition and to ensure that nutrition is considered as an important factor in broader efforts in critical sectors such as health, agriculture, and social protection.

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