Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development
This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and its global partners have launched a long term breastfeeding campaign framed by the SDGs.
The campaign, titled #WBW2016, aims to raise awareness of how breastfeeding and development are linked, and to forge partnerships for long-term development.
Each subsequent WBW will focus on thematic SDG areas such as nutrition, food security and poverty reduction; survival, health and wellbeing; climate change and environment; and women’s employment, productivity and gender equity.
Recent evidence from the Lancet highlights the importance of breastfeeding in ensuring that children and mothers survive and thrive. Optimal breastfeeding could save the lives of more than 820,000 children and 20,000 mothers annually and also prevents a number of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
This is a key priority for the Every Woman Every Child movement and central for the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which has set targets related to early childhood development linked to nutrition, including breastfeeding
According to Dr Amal Omer-Salim, Co-Executive Director of WABA, “celebrations should mark on-going efforts to learn from experience and achievements. By focusing on a broader development context, longer time frame and practical yet ambitious goals, we can create sustainable and engaging campaigns, involving more partners. Let us together campaign for a generation!”
WBW2016 themes, including linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals, got traction in the news and were mentioned by influencers such as Jamie Oliver.