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The World Health
Organization says getting new mothers to breast-feed their infants could save
1.3 million children's lives each year. from WHO headquarters in Geneva.
Constanza Vallenas is WHO Medical Officer in the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development. She says raising the global breast-feeding rate to 90 percent would prevent the deaths of an estimated 13 percent of all children under the age of five in the developing world.
"It gives the nutrients and the immune factors that are important for protecting infants against the most serious infections they can get, which is diarrhea and pneumonia. It also protects against malnutrition. The recommendation we have along with UNICEF is that infants should be exclusively breast fed, meaning without even water until six months of age. And, from there on to continue breast feeding with appropriate complimentary foods until the age of two years or beyond."
Dr. Vallenas says many mothers are discouraged from breast-feeding because they do not know how to get their baby to latch on properly to the breast's nipple, or because they suffer pain and discomfort. She says this problem, which afflicts women in both rich and poor countries, could be overcome with the right practical support.
On a related issue, the World Health Organization says pregnant women should be made aware of the risks they face from both seasonal flu and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. It says expectant mothers should be given top priority in receiving antiviral drugs like Tamiflu.
Translated by Buasawan Simmala
ຟັງສຽງ ເປັນພາສາລາວໄດ້ ໂດຍການກົດປຸ່ມຢູ່ຂວາມືຂ້າງເທິງ