Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

Red Crescent Society, Azerbaijan

Breastfeeding contains essential nutrients and is important for the healthy development of a child. To encourage this healthy practice, on 1–7 August 2016, 170 countries celebrated World Breastfeeding Week.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually to commemorate the Innocent Declaration endorsed by WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1990 to promote and support breastfeeding. According to WHO, just 38% of infants aged 0–6 months old are exclusively breastfed in the world. This figure is 12% in Azerbaijan, according to UNICEF. By 2050, WHO intends to increase to at least 50% the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months. To achieve this goal, WHO calls upon all countries to organize large-scale health promotion activities to promote and support breastfeeding.

Within the framework of its community-based health programme, the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society organized a number of events devoted to World Breastfeeding Week. Local branches of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society held meetings with pregnant women to inform them of the importance of breastfeeding for the health of the child. The Sabunchu branch hosted meetings at antenatal clinic № 3 in Yasamal district, the maternity department of the Republican hospital, and the maternity hospital and antenatal clinic in Bakikhanov district in Baku city.

The community-based health programme manager of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, Matanat Garakhanova, held a similar meeting with 7 pregnant migrant women from Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Women’s and Youth Centre of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Baku city.