Press Release for World Breastfeeding Week!

On August 9, 2017, our project EMBRACE (Enhancing Mother/Newborn/Child Health in Remote Areas through Health Care and Community Engagement), the project led by ADRA Canada, and funded by the Government of Canada, through its agency, Global Affairs Canada, has celebrated World Breastfeeding Week cooperated with Provincial Health Department and the local authority in Sandan district, Kampong Thom province. The event was conducted to raise the awareness to the community about the importance of breastfeeding after there has been report from specialized institution stating that the percentage of exclusive breastfeeding in Cambodia was dropped significantly from 2010-2015. The topic for this year World Breastfeeding Week is: “We together promote breastfeeding for the better future of our children.”

Mr. Roth Rumnea, the EMBRACE project Manager of ADRA Cambodia said that we are glad to be able to celebrate this important World Breastfeeding Week and he shared five key messages during the event:
            1. “We together promote breastfeeding for the better future of our children.”

            2. “Breastmilk is the best nutrition of the baby and child.”

            3. “Born right away, breastfeeding right away, make a child healthy.”

            4. “Immediate breastfeeding within the first hour after delivery save the live of the child alot.”

            5. “Breastfeed your child at least for two years and provide additional meal when the child is six months old and above.”

Mr. Long Kiseung, the governor of Sandan District mentioned about the report of Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2014 that shows the practice of complementary and exclusive breastfeeding has dropped from 73.5% in 2010 to 64.6% in 2014. The percentage of immediate breastfeeding within the first hour after delivery and the continuous breastfeeding until the child is 12 months was found dropped from 65.3% to 62.6% and from 83% to 80% respectively. In addition, providing additional food before the right age of the child was increased significantly both in urban and rural areas between 2010 and 2014. He stated that seeing this report of this decreased percentage we have to put in first priority to improve the practice of exclusive breastfeeding in the country to be better. At the same time, we have also found some reasons that caused the drop of the breastfeeding habits such as migration, lack of knowledge and understanding about the importance of breastfeeding, old habits and tradition, lack of support from family members, and the increase of the promotion of baby milk formula sale instead of breastfeeding.

Seeing this decrease in breastfeeding, the Ministry of Health through its National Nutrition Program supported by development partners HKI, Unicef MTI FHI36 Alive, Thrive, Save the Children, and World Vision Cambodia working together to initiate celebrating World Breastfeeding Week again from 2015. In 2017, the National Nutrition program of Ministry of Health collaborated with HKI and relevant development partners launch the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week under the topic: “We together promote breastfeeding for the better future of our children.”

This event was conducted for the whole morning from 7:30am until 11:30 with the participation of representatives from the Provincial Health Department, Provincial Operational Health District, District office, relevant official in Sandan district, development partners, all 3 Health Centers, Commune, Schools, students, and community members totaling 400 participants including the ADRA Canada Agents of Change.