Nepal is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with the theme “Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development.” The Ministry of Health has organized several activities that focus on the need to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. To support these initiatives, the Nepal ARCH team is co-organizing various events at 10 major hospitals, which cover 90% of births that take place in the Kathmandu Valley.
Breastfeeding week begins with a stage performance by Nepali celebrities on the grounds of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, one of the largest maternity hospitals in the country. The Secretary to the Ministry of Health and several breastfeeding advocates will preside over this presentation on the importance of early and exclusive breastfeeding. The Nursing staff from the Maternity department will also present a skit on the role of husbands in promoting breastfeeding within the family. An estimated 250 pregnant and lactating women are expected to attend.
A panel discussion on the importance of breastfeeding will be aired on national television. This event, led by the National Health Education Information and Communication Center, will include a member of the ARCH Advisory Committee, who will share findings from the ARCH research in Nepal and will talk about the importance of lactation management and the benefits of improving breastfeeding practices. Health professionals from maternity departments will participate.
To prepare for World Breastfeeding Week, ARCH led a coordination meeting with the focal persons of Breastfeeding Committee formed at the 10 major hospitals that participated in ARCH research and conducted lactation management training. The meeting sought their commitment for continuing activities that protect, promote and support breastfeeding not only during breastfeeding week, but in the long term and to highlight how breastfeeding contributes to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.