World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action December 2012


World Breastfeeding conference 2012

The first world breastfeeding conference was held from 6-9 December 2012 at the Indian Habitat Center (IHC), New Delhi. More than 700 participants including Government, Non- Government, Civil Society, Media, Health Professional and Donors from 82 countries participated in the conference.

The first world breastfeeding conference was started to protect the right of breastfeeding and build a healthy future nation. The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Asia and WABA jointly organized the conference. The theme was: “Babies Need Mom Made Not Man Made”.

Laws in support to breastfeeding exist in different countries but those are not followed properly. So this conference is important to share countries' own activities and learn from others. Importance was given in the discussion on International and national breast feeding substitute food control and marketing law implementation. In the habitat center the importance of breast feeding was highlighted in plenary session, group discussion, Drama and Art Exhibition. During the closing session declaration paper was released. In this declaration paper future activities of world countries were fixed. In the closing session Chief Guest Indian Health Planning commission member Sayda Hamid mentioned the name of Bangladesh for the achievement in breastfeeding. The special guest was Professor Dr. A.F.M Ruhal Haque, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh. He mentioned that breast milk substitute companies are doing business of 100 billion dollars and half of which is their benefit. So we have to monitor these companies.

"Understanding International Policy on HIV and Breastfeeding: a comprehensive resource"  

WABA's statement for the World AIDS Day 2012 was on the theme "Getting to Zero: Health for all HIV-Positive mothers and Zero HIV-transmission to their babies".

In conjunction with World AIDS Day, WABA is pleased to launch a resource document on HIV and breastfeeding with the title "Understanding International Policy on HIV and Breastfeeding: a comprehensive resource". This resource aims to clarify the confusion which has arisen during the last decade due to changing HIV and infant feeding guidance. The resource is intended for policy-makers, breastfeeding advocates, national breastfeeding committees, public health advocates, women's health activists and others working in the community.

This resource also summaries up-to-date scientific evidence as at the end of 2012. Research emerging between WHO's 2006 and 2010 guidance documents shows conclusively that maternal/infant ARV regimens during pregnancy and breastfeeding greatly reduce vertical transmission of HIV; and that exclusive and continued breastfeeding significantly improves overall HIV-free survival.

Infant Feeding: Practice & Policy Course

The masters-level course is the only advanced international training course on breastfeeding and related topics available worldwide and held in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF. It is designed for senior health professionals who lead, coordinate or commission work on infant feeding, teach others or need to be informed and up-to-date so they can give strategic direction on breastfeeding and infant nutrition. The course aims to strengthen participants’ capacity for making an evidence-based case for investing in breastfeeding and to take an active role in the broad spectrum of protecting, promoting and supporting optimal infant feeding practices.   

Typically participants include paediatricians, midwifery lecturers, directors of primary care, infant feeding coordinators and public health specialists. The course takes a global perspective and past participants have found it extremely useful whatever part of the world they come from. Teaching includes regional group work and comparative learning techniques to gain maximum educational advantage from the range of backgrounds and experiences present in the group.

 The theme/slogan for WBW 2013

WABA  announced the theme/slogan for WBW 2013 - 'BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS' focusing on Peer Counseling, which was discussed and decided at the WABA Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting (GBPM) held in Delhi, 5-6 December 2012.

The WABA Mother Support Task Force, led by Anne Batterjee, has been appointed Key Writer for the WBW 2013 Calendar Announcement and Action Folder, working with small team of WABA SC members, and Core Partner representatives. The Calendar Announcement is currently being developed and should be ready for distribution in January 2013.