The Breastfeeding Friends Society, one of the health promotion associations at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, concluded the World Breastfeeding Week 2018 yesterday (Tuesday), which was held during August 1-7 under the slogan “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.” The mega event witnessed the organization of several awareness events and educational activities all around the UAE.

The society was able to set up a number of lectures and consultations, in addition to organizing workshops in governments institutions, hospitals and health centres in Sharjah and other Emirates in the UAE, which include the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, University Hospital Sharjah, Home Care Services that falls under the Social Services Department in Sharjah, Latifa Hospital in Dubai, Al Baraha Hospital in Dubai, Al Hamidiya Health Center in Ajman, Musheirif Health Center in Ajman and Albustan Nursery in Al Dhaid among others.

Eng. Khawla Al Noman, Head of Breastfeeding Friends Society, stressed that under the patronage and support of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, the society has worked to improve the physical and psychological health of mothers and children, and to promote breastfeeding as it is considered the best way to form a healthy relationship between families and to maintain the health of the community in the Emirate.

Al Noman maintained that the World Breastfeeding Week is considered one of the most prominent events on the society’s agenda, and that it works to intensify it awareness efforts during this week through various events and field trips, and through the media and social networking sites. The society uses these various platforms in order to reach mothers and encourage them to breastfeed their children.

Al Noman added, “We, as a government agency, seek to improve the physical and psychological health of mothers and children through breastfeeding, and we must support and adopt the information given by international organizations that encourage breastfeeding in society. We must also keep up with the developments in this field through meetings with the appropriate authorities. This is why we have organized a workshop on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which includes a brief overview of the code and the Cabinet Resolution of 2018, as well as ways to report any violations to the code.”

The events and activities that were organized by the society at hospitals and health centres witnessed a huge turnout from mothers who were presented with advice and tips on the importance of breastfeeding, the correct way to extract and store breast milk, and the correct conditions for breastfeeding, in addition to distributing pamphlets on breastfeeding that benefits both mother and child. The society was able to reach and educate 1100 mothers, brides-to-be and expectant mothers of many different nationalities on breastfeeding.

The breastfeeding awareness events and activities during this month were organized through the media, and they are in line with the directives of the wise leadership to raise awareness and provide support in order to meet both the national and global recommendations for feeding infants, which promote breastfeeding for the first 6 months after the infant is born and continuing the process until the end of the second year.

These efforts are also in line with the UAE Cabinet Resolution No. (21) of 2018 on Regulating the Marketing of Infants and Toddlers Nutrition Products, which aims to contribute to supporting and promoting breastfeeding by regulating the marketing and promotion of infant food products, and providing information on the proper nutrition for infants to help preserve their health.
Some of the events of the week included Mama Noura, the mascot of the society, who brought joy to young children that were present at these events. At the same time, the mothers that were present at the events, and the society’s followers on social media, were given the opportunity to participate in various competitions, and to watch videos that raised awareness on topics that include breastfeeding while traveling, breastfeeding in the summer, and the importance of the father’s support to the mother, among others.

The Breastfeeding Friends Society was founded in 2004 under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. The society aims at improving the physical and psychological health of mothers and children by promoting breastfeeding, which helps to maintain the health of the community in the Emirate.

 

Source: MISBAR Communications