Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF) began to function in 1989 for the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding in the country. BBF received technical and financial assistances from UNICEF, World Bank and Canadian CIDA (through NNP) for National level and Area Based Community Nutrition (ABCN) activities on breastfeeding. Since it’s inception BBF has been extending its activities on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and Maternal Nutrition since these are fundamental to the National development and to meet all the MDG goals by 2015 in general and MDG goals 4 and 5 in particular.
In the past two decades, the breastfeeding movement in Bangladesh has resulted with the formulation of the Breast-milk Substitute Act in 1984 in accordance with the international code for the Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute; transforming about 500 hospitals into baby friendly (BFHI), extending maternity leaves from 3 months to 4 months in public sector and initiatives for mother support system development at the country level. Out of the efforts for governmental policy management in favour of breastfeeding, the Ministry of Health has and Family Welfare endorsed the hospital policy on breastfeeding, formalized BFHI and adopted six months exclusive breastfeeding promotion strategy and also the Infant and Young Child Feeding strategy is at the final stage of approval by the government of Bangladesh. The movement has made remarkable success in advocacy, social mobilization and networking activities since its inception. Professional bodies and institutions were mobilized to invest their endorsement, talents and capabilities for the cause of breastfeeding promotion and protection. Dhaka Declaration is one of the examples of commitment at the highest level of the State and Government to the cause of breastfeeding.
BBF has been designated by the government and many international agencies like IBFAN, WABA and UNICEF as the focal point for the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding in Bangladesh. BBF has been dedicating its expertise to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding (BF) in the field of training and social mobilization. From the very beginning BBF arranged several types of training for the promotion and protection of Breastfeeding (BF) in the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project (BINP) and National Nutrition Programme (NNP) administered areas respectively. BBF provided TOT on Breastfeeding Management to 373 mid level managers (Upazila Manager, Field Supervisor) of NNP implementing NGOs so far. Besides, BBF arranged orientation course on BF Management, Complementary Feeding and Maternal Nutrition for the different level activists of NNP partner NGOs in each and every year since the BINP started and until today so far 1079 participants have underwent this training.