News / Health

    WHO Says Mothers Milk Is Best for Babies

    The World Health Organization says breast-feeding is key to saving children's lives. During this year's World Breast-feeding Week, WHO and other health agencies are highlighting 10 steps to successful breast-feeding. The Week, which runs from August 1 to 7, is celebrated in more than 170 countries.

    The World Health Organization describes breast milk as the ideal food for newborns and infants. It says breast milk is safe, gives babies the nutrients they need for health development and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses.

    Bernadette Daelmans, a Medical Officer in WHO's Division for Newborn and Child Health and Development, says breast-feeding has many benefits, not only in the short-term, but also in the long-term for children's health.

    "In the World Organization and UNICEF we estimate that if children were exclusively breast fed for six months and continued to breast feed for up to two years, with appropriate additional food for six months onwards, we could save 1.5 million children under five years of age out of the 8.8 million that we estimate to die currently every year," said Daelmans.

    WHO says malnutrition is responsible for one-third of the nearly nine million deaths among children under age five every year. It says malnutrition can be a direct cause of death or cause fatal disease in young children.

    Dr. Daelmans says more than two-thirds of these deaths occur during the first months of life and are often associated with inappropriate feeding practices such as bottle-feeding.

    She says breast-feeding has many beneficial effects for children in both developing and developed countries. For instance, she says it can protect children against illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.

    In addition, she says the benefits obtained through breast-feeding often carry on into adulthood.

    "It has long term effects in reducing the mean level of blood pressure in adults. Adults who have been breast-fed have lower cholesterol levels," she said. "It has benefits for the mother for reducing her risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer. And, it obviously also helps to reduce post-partum hemorrhage immediately after birth and bleeding. It reduces that. So, there is a whole range of benefits that apply to children universally, wherever they live."

    The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund have developed ten steps for health facilities to take towards ensuring successful breast-feeding. For instance, the measures call for helping mothers to begin breast-feeding within half an hour of birth and showing mothers how to breastfeed.

    The measures encourage breast-feeding on demand and foster the establishment of breast-feeding support groups that mothers can join after they are discharged from hospital.

    WHO says this 10-step checklist today is used by hospitals in more than 150 countries.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora