AfDB promotes breastfeeding in Africa for inclusive growth

BreastfeedingThe African Development Bank (AfDB) has called on African countries to promote breastfeeding as a means to give children a start to their future wellbeing

Oley Dibba-Wadda, bank’s director of human capital, Youth and Skills Department, said, “A prosperous and well-nourished Africa that protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life will provide potential for children in Africa to grow, learn and earn in the future.”

Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in August every year to improve the health of babies around the world. This year’s theme is ‘Breastfeeding: the Foundation of Life.’

With the help of African Leaders for Nutrition initiative (ALN), AfDB is engaging heads of State and eminent leaders as nutrition champions.

The ALN was launched and endorsed by African heads of State during the African Union Summit in January 2018 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

ALN is currently working to increase domestic resources allocated to nutrition to support interventions that protect and promote breastfeeding.

It is developing a continental nutrition accountability scorecard and an economic case for nutrition reports.

According to UNICEF, there are considerable variations in the results for vital breastfeeding indicators across African countries and regions. The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months is higher in East and Southern Africa (56 per cent) than in West and Central Africa (33 per cent) and in the North Africa/Middle East region (32 per cent).

The overall prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in Sub-Saharan Africa stands at 43 per cent, which is below the minimum target of 50 per cent recommended by the World Health Assembly.

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