Hasbani and the UNICEF Launched the National Breastfeeding Campaign
The Ministry of Public Health launched the National Breastfeeding Campaign in collaboration with the UNICEF and the International Orthodox Christian Charities during a special event held at Linda Sursock Villa, Achrafieh under the title: “Breastfeeding is important; the mission of all of us! It is our duty to support you and your right to ask support”.
The event started with an opening statement delivered by the Head of the Mother, child and school health Department Pamela Zgheib who stated that the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health and the World health Organization recommend mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children for their first six months. Therefore, they should be given water and nutritious supplements and continue breastfeeding up to two years and beyond.
The Chairperson of the International Orthodox Christian Charities Rouba Khoueiry highlighted the importance of raising awareness on breastfeeding and encouraging both private and public sectors to provide mothers with facilities for breastfeeding.
ChapuisatTanya Chapuisat, UNICEF Lebanon Representative, said that the latest survey carried out in Lebanon shows that the exclusive breastfeeding rate for the child’s first six months is 14.8% for the Lebanese mothers. This means that a significant number of infants in this country are deprived of the most important elements for their growth and health. According to Chapuisat, extending the scope of breastfeeding can help save 823,000 children below 5 years yearly.
“Breastfeeding is not only good for mothers and infants, it is also important in achieving several sustainable development goals; enhancing nutrition, preventing children death, reducing NCD risks and promoting the cognitive development and learning. Breastfeeding helps also reduce poverty and inequality and enhance the economic growth,” Hasbani said.
“Breastfeeding improves as well the national economy, since it reduces the primary healthcare bill and improves the educational attainments, and therefore increases productivity,” he added.
Hasbani announced that the Ministry of Public Health commits itself to improve breastfeeding rate in Lebanon through a national plan to improve and protect breastfeeding.
As a mother for three children and a dietitian, Mrs. Nadine Ghassan Hasbani highlighted the importance of breastfeeding and its positive impact on the child’s growth, in addition to its role in strengthening his immunization system, and protecting him from chronic diseases. As for mothers, breastfeeding helps them burn fat and calories accumulated during pregnancy, and helps the uterus return to its normal size before pregnancy.
Mrs. Hasbani encouraged breastfeeding that enhances the relationship between the mother and the child.