Hosting an NGO Capacity Building Workshop in Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2018
In Cambodia, the National Nutrition Program, Helen Keller International and other Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance members hosted the annual World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) celebration for the 4th year in a row. With current evidence indicating a decline in exclusive breastfeeding and increased use of breast-milk substitutes, the main objective was to enhance and expand the public awareness of the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, and to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and optimal infant and young child feeding practices.
For WBW 2018, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action theme was ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life’. The theme aligned well with the efforts of the Ministry of Health and relevant partners to strengthen the enforcement of Sub-Decree 133 on Marketing of Products for Infant and Young Child Feeding– the law which implements many provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in Cambodia. Though WBW celebrations officially occured from August 1-7 2018, this year the celebration will be extended through to September 2018 when Cambodia will celebrate its 5th Annual National Nutrition Day.
A capacity building workshop for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) began the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2018. The event took place on August 15th at Phnom Pros Hotel, Kampong Cham Province. A total of 110 participants attended, including government officers from operation districts and provincial health departments, and staff from 20 different NGOs working in health, nutrition, maternity, and child health sectors in Cambodia.In total, the participants represented 20 provinces out of 25 provinces in Cambodia. The workshop was chaired by H.E Dr. Prak Sophonneary, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Health.
The objectives of this full-day workshop were to:
- Increase NGOs’ technical knowledge related to breastfeeding,
- Share lessons learned and best practices from the 2017 WBW celebration hosted by Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance Cambodia members,
- Discuss Sub-Decree 133 and how NGOs can communicate with the government if they find violations of the law, including promotions for breast-milk substitutes, and
- Participate in grassroots organizing for WBW 2018.
The ARCH Cambodia team continues to be an integral member of the NGO community throughout the country, taking a leadership role in technical issues surrounding breastfeeding.
Supporting the government to promote breastfeeding and establishing a new lactation room
Nepal also celebrated World Breastfeeding Week from August 1- 7th, aiming to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies in the country. HKI’s ARCH project, in collaboration with Nepal’s Department of Health Services, Family Welfare Division, and UNICEF, supported the government to celebrate the event.
In a press conference at the Department of Health Services, the ARCH Nepal team called for increased breastfeeding advocacy in the country and reviewed the existing laws and policies in Nepal which provide support for breastfeeding. ARCH also discussed the importance of the government’s role in creating an ongoing monitoring system for Nepal’s regulations on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Meeting participants discussed the importance of breastfeeding and recommended practices for successful breastfeeding. The event was aired on national televisions and covered in national and local newspapers.
The event ended with the inauguration of a new lactation room for breastfeeding mothers employed at the Department of Health Services. Printed informational materials from the ARCH Project were made available for users of the lactation room. The ARCH Nepal team went on to host events throughout August to support the ten major hospitals in Kathmandu Valley in conducting self-assessments of their breastfeeding policies.
The ARCH Nepal team is committed to continued action to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in all possible ways by recognizing that breastfeeding is a key to Sustainable Development.
Sharing ARCH research results with national stakeholders
The ARCH Indonesia team presented results from several studies conducted in Bandung City, West Java, at the Indonesian Breastfeeding Mothers Association National Congress held in Makassar on August 2nd. The Congress was attended by 70 members from 16 Indonesian provinces.
On August 20th, ARCH Coordinator Dian Hadihardjono presented ARCH survey results on breastfeeding as part of a seminar hosted by the Ministry of Health. The seminar was attended by the Minister of Health, ministry officials, and more than 300 participants from UN agencies and NGOs as well as provincial health office representatives from 34 provinces. Bandung Health Office officials also attended and actively participated in the seminar. The ARCH Indonesia team also published and distributed two briefs summarizing results from research in Bandung city on breastfeeding and complementary feeding among children under 36 months of age.
The ARCH Indonesia team will continue to disseminate research findings in coordination with the Ministry of Health throughout the coming months.