World Breastfeeding Week 2012


This World Breastfeeding Week, WABA calls for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.


The Innocenti Declaration (1990) recognised that breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development. There is much that remains to be done despite 25 years of hard work, particularly on the fourth Innocenti target that calls on governments to “…enact imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working women and establish means for its enforcement”.

2012 WBW Brief Description

Inaugural ceremony of WBW ‘09 was held on the 2nd of August at 10 A.M at the Hall of Fame of the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka. The Honorable Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh SHEIKH HASINA inaugurated the World Breastfeeding Week 2009 as the Chief Guest. Dr. A. F. M. Ruhal Haque, MP, Honorable Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Prof. Dr. Syed Modasser Ali, Health and Social Welfare Advisor to Prime Minister were present as Special Guests. Dr. S. K Roy, Chairperson of Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation chaired the inaugural ceremony.

About one thousand five hundred participants attended this high profile inauguration ceremony. Representatives from different Government ministries, professional societies, UN agencies and other development partners, stakeholders, NGOs, volunteers, students, nurses, Girls guide, Scouts, BNCC were present. The ceremony was started with recitation from Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 233 of the Holy Quraan-“And mothers shall suckle their children for two complete years. This provision is for one who wants suckling for the complete period. In such a case, the feeding and clothing of suckling mothers according to the usual standard shall be upon the fathers……”. ,

There after the Chief Guest and Special Guests were presented with crests. Dr. S K Roy presented crest to Sheikh Hasina, Honorable, Prime Minister, People's Republic of Bangladesh. Prof. M R Khan, National Professor & Prof. M Q-K Talukder handed over the crests to Dr. A. F. M. Ruhul Haque and Dr. Syed Modasser Ali respectively. As chair of the session, Dr. S K Roy welcomed the distinguished guests and participants, shared the breastfeeding situation of Bangladesh and placed some requests for kind consideration of the Honorable Prime Minister. The special guests Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. A. F. M. Ruhal Haque, Prime Minister's Adviser Prof. Dr. Syed Modasser Ali also gave their valuable speeches. SHEIKH HASINA, the Honorable Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh distributed crests among organizations for their outstanding contributions in the field of breastfeeding and IYCF.


Speech of the Chief Guest

After this session, Honorable Prime Minister SHEIKH HASINA gave her valuable speech. Here are some excerpts from her speech: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is giving her speech at the inaugural ceremony of WBW’ 09.

The Prime Minister said there is no alternative to breastfeeding, the safest way of feeding the purest and nutritious food to the infant and young child. She also said, breastfeeding benefits both mother and child. Besides providing optimum and balanced food for the babies, breastfeeding also protects the mothers from different fatal diseases like heart ailments, diabetes and cancer she added.

Citing the verse No. 233 of Sura Baqara of the Holy Quran, Sheikh Hasina said mother’s breast milk is a unique creation of Almighty Allah which not only give complete food to the baby, it also strengthens bondage between mother and child.

Pointing to the closest relations between mother and child, Prime Minister stressed the need for ensuring good health, adequate nutrition, rest and mental peace of the mother during both pregnancy and lactation time by saying it is vital for both the mother and her baby. She emphasized that it is the responsibility of father and other family members to ensure mothers can breastfeed every child optimally. She, however, regretted that providing less food to the mother during and after pregnancy is a common phenomenon in the society adding that the tendency must be changed.

Referring to the increasing number of mothers becoming professionals and wage earners, Sheikh Hasina called upon the authorities of all offices, corporate bodies and business establishments, factories to set up a crèche (day care center) in their respective organizations where mothers can breastfeed.

Sheikh Hasina said breastfeeding becomes more essential during disaster because scarcity of safe water and food becomes a common phenomenon. She instructed the relevant authority to strictly enforce Regulation on breastmilk substitute marketing (BMS code) at all levels throughout the country.

The Prime Minister announced that henceforth the first week of August every year would be observed as Breastfeeding Week as a national event for creating awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the country.

Sheikh Hasina said there is no alternative to breastfeeding as all necessary ingredients of proper physical and mental development of the human baby is available in mother’s breast milk.

Referring to maternity leave, Sheikh Hasina indicated positive response and referred to her previous government’s (1996-2001) approval of four months’ maternity leave with full pay effective from the day of confinement.

The Prime Minister appreciated BBF for its timely steps to promote and support breastfeeding among the mothers and assured that all required support from her government would be provided to strengthen the Foundation.

She also said that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare should work closely with Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation to consolidate programmes on promoting, protecting and supporting BF and IYCF.

Emphasizing on proper psychological development of the children, the Prime Minister said each school should appoint a child psychologist to assist in proper development of the students’ physical and mental health.

The Prime Minister said her government wants to work for creating such an environment in which children will grow up with sound mental and physical health. Besides, she said, the government is working with a target to reduce child mortality rate from the current 54 to 15 per thousand while maternal mortality rate to 1.5 from the existing level of 3.8 by 2021.

The present government will reopen the community clinics to bring health care facilities to the doorsteps of the common people.

The Prime Minister said only a nation with sound health can steer the country forward to an enlightened future. She sought cooperation of all to extend their support to the government’s endeavour to this end.

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This World Breastfeeding Week, WABA calls for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is...

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