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World Breastfeeding Week: Nestlé deepens commitment to breastfeeding promotion in Central & West Africa

 Breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way to ensuring child health, proper growth and development.

In support of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week themed “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life” Nestlé launches the second edition of its campaign “Breastfeeding, it takes all of us” campaign..

The campaign encourages mothers to breastfeed and calls on other family members to support by creating the enabling environment for mothers to breastfeed. Through the simple message: “breastfeeding requires the support of everyone”, the company aims to encourage partners, family members, friends, health care providers, and workplaces to all pitch in to help mothers exclusively breastfeed up to 6 months of age and continue breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond as recommended by World Health Organization.

While breastfeeding is usually the norm in Africa, many babies are given other foods or liquids before the age of 6 months or are not breastfed until they reach the age of 2 years. Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels for infants and young children could save over 800,000 children’s lives a year worldwide, prevent 20,000 maternal deaths due to breast cancer, and add over USD 300 billion to the economy each year according to the medical journal, The Lancet.

During the week of 1-7 August, Nestlé will support the efforts of governments across the Central and West Africa region to promote breastfeeding.  In Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, the company is organizing scientific symposia that will contribute to building capacity of Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, midwives and nurses, to provide advice to mothers regarding optimal breastfeeding as well as bring to light the critical role breastfeeding plays in a baby’s growth and development.

Mothers and those supporting them can also access information regarding breastfeeding and good nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life on Nestlé’s Start Healthy Stay Healthy Facebook platform or through the Nestlé Nutrition Line, a public service radio programme, in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

For Nestlé, it is important that the company walks the talk by providing a breastfeeding-friendly workplace.  In 2015, the company launched the Nestlé Maternity Protection Policy, one of the most progressive in the Industry, which gives employees up to six months maternity leave, provides flexible work arrangements as well as more than 339 breastfeeding rooms on Nestlé sites globally.  With a newest addition in Côte d’Ivoire this year, Nestlé now offers eight breastfeeding rooms in its workplaces across the region.

“Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants and Nestlé is fully committed to support breastfeeding as core to its ambition to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030” said Audrey Essilfie, Regional Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager, for Nestlé Central & West Africa.

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