World Breastfeeding Week celebrated from 1 to 7 August

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Countries around the world are being reminded of the critical importance of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a baby's life.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) are promoting breastfeeding as the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need.

On World Breastfeeding Week, observed from 1 to 7 August, Noel Marie Zagre, Regional Nutrition Advisor for UNICEF in Equatorial and Southern Africa says there are still gaps in breastfeeding among countries.

"Clearly we have some evidence that many countries are not yet doing very well even though we know that we have also observed a lot of progress in some other countries. Up to now some countries are still having a very low exclusive breastfeeding rate like five per cent while others are doing quite well and even reaching 89 to 95 per cent of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life." (27")

WHO recommends that a baby should be exclusively breastfed starting within one hour after birth and until the baby is six months old.

It says nutritious complementary foods should then be added while mothers continue to breastfeed a child up to two years or beyond.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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