World Breastfeeding Week – August 1st to 7th

World Breastfeeding Week Observed from August 1 to August 7

  • World Breastfeeding Week is observed from August 1 to 7 every year.

UPSC Mains General Studies Paper II

Topic: Social Justice

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Who organises the World BreastFeeding Week?

  •  World Breastfeeding Week is organised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), WHO and UNICEF.

What is the main goal of World Breastfeeding Week?

  • Promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases such as pneumonia and fostering growth and development.

What is WABA?

  • WABA stands for World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
  • WABA is a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declarations, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.
  • WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF and an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

What are the health benefits of breastfeeding on children:

  • Breastfeeding within an hour of birth could prevent 20% of the newborn deaths.
  • Diarrhoea and Pneumonia are two leading causes of death in children. Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pnuemonia and 11 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than children who are exclusively breastfed.
  • In addition, children who were not breastfed are at increased risk for diabetes, obesity, allergies, asthma, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome etc.
  • Apart from mortality and morbidity benefits, breastfeeding also has tremendous impact on improved IQ.

What is MAA programme:

  • MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding
  • It aims to intensify the efforts further for promotion of breastfeeding
  • Run by Health Ministry

What are the Key components of MAA Programme?

  • The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & inter personal counselling at community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.
  • Under this programme, ASHA has been incentivized for reaching out to pregnant and lactating mothers and provide information on benefits and techniques of successful breastfeeding during interpersonal communication. ANMs at all sub-centres and health personnel at all delivery points are being trained for providing skilled support to mothers referred with issues related to breastfeeding.
  • Under NHM, funding support has been recommended for all States and UTs for successful implementation of the MAA programme.

World Breastfeeding Day

What does UNICEF report on early initiation of breastfeeding say?

  • UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a new report on early initiation of breastfeeding
  • It has ranked Sri Lanka at the top of the list of countries with early initiation of breastfeeding.
  • India ranks 56th among the 76 countries that were analysed.
  • Countries like Kazakhsthan, Rwanda, Bhutan and Uruguay have fared much better than India.
  • Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Montenegro are at the bottom.
  • Only two in five newborns are breastfed within the first hour of life across the world.

What is Innocenti Declaration?

  • The Innocenti Declaration was produced and adopted by participants at the WHO/UNICEF policymakers’ meeting on “Breastfeeding in the 1990s:
  • On the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding.
  • It recognises that Breastfeeding is a unique process that provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development Reduces incidence and severity of infectious diseases, thereby lowering infant morbidity and mortality
  • Breastfeeding Contributes to women’s health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • By increasing the spacing between pregnancies, it provides social and economic benefits to the family and the nation
  • Provides most women with a sense of satisfaction when Breastfeeding is successfully carried out

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