Cambodia best at breastfeeding25th June 2007
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN children's agency, Unicef, have warned that survival rates among babies and young children are suffering in the Asia-Pacific region because of a decline in breastfeeding.
The agencies called for more public information about the risks of breast milk substitutes.
Meanwhile, delegates to a conference in the Philippines said breastfeeding was the best infant feeding method to ensure child health, leading to lower child mortality rates.
For example, in Cambodia, where the authorities have actively promoted breastfeeding, child mortality rates have shown a steep decline.
In 2006, six out of 10 Cambodian mothers were still breastfeeding their babies at six months, up from just one out of 10 in 2000, experts told the conference.
On average, that figure is 35% across the Asia-Pacific region, according to the WHO.
One Unicef official, Karen Codling, said many parents in developing countries still believed that bottle-feeding was superior to breastfeeding.
But this could often bring the child into contact with disease via unclean water used to mix infant milk formula, she said.
Even in developed countries, breastfeeding gave children a head start, experts said, producing better cognitive development and lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Experts called on other countries in the region to follow Cambodia's example.
An association of milk formula companies in the Philippines has launched a legal challenge against a strict marketing code imposed on the industry last year.
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Tuesday 26th June 2007 @ 0:24
A lesson to be learnt for all of us, and should relate to the breast feeding in public debate over here!
I know full well a lot of mothers just can't breast feed, and it is no detriment on their part. But it's ludicrous that in the UK some have still have negative views on breast feeding mothers when you see reports like this from Cambodia!
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