JIS News

Breastfeeding week will be observed from September 18 to 24 and the National Launch of “Breastfeeding Week 2005” along with a Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) staged Health Expo, is slated to take place at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, in Montego Bay, on Monday, September 19.
The activities, which will be held under the theme, “Breastfeeding and Family Foods: Loving and Healthy”, will commence in the WRHA on Sunday, September 18 with a Church Service at the St. Johns Methodist Church, on Humber Avenue in Montego Bay, and continue throughout the week with a number of promotional activities, displays and demonstrations by WRHA personnel.
The activities will also showcase and feature exclusively breastfed babies four to six months; breastfeeding quiz competitions; an extensive outreach programme for mothers and fathers; and an information exposition staged by health personnel in the parishes that comprise the WRHA.
This is the second successive year that the parish of St. James has been selected for the national launch of activities to mark Breastfeeding Week. The advent of Hurricane Ivan caused the cancellation of last year’s activities.
Jamaica is among more than 120 countries, including the United States of America that celebrates Breastfeeding Week. The importance of breastfeeding was underscored in a World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) joint document launched in 2002, entitled “Global strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding”.
This document was developed as a result of two years of global consultation, and pinpoints the main problems affecting infant and young child feeding and identifies approaches to their solution.
The WHO and UNICEF agreed that breastfeeding alone provides the ideal nourishment for infants for the first six months of life, as it provides all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones, immune factors and antioxidants an infant needs to thrive.