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The importance of breastfeeding training

, : The importance of breastfeeding training. Africa Health 18(4): 15-15

The lack of knowledge about breast feeding on the part of health personnel represents a major barrier to improving child health in developing countries. For example, in many areas, health workers convince new mothers that they cannot breast feed because of the shape of the breast or nipple. To promote breast feeding, WHO and UNICEF are encouraging the development of specialized training programs. The WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was established to implement the goals of the Innocenti Declaration, which calls for global breast feeding and the removal of obstacles to breast feeding within the health care system, at the workplace, and in the community. Each year, 25 health professionals from all regions of the world attend a four-week course on "Breast feeding: Practice and Policy" at London's Institute of Child Health. The curriculum covers the physiology, biochemistry, and management of breast feeding; counseling skills; social and political issues; and special situations such as feeding sick babies. African physicians, midwives, nurses, and nutritionists who have participated in this course have returned to establish similar seminars in their region. In addition, WHO and UNICEF have developed a 40-hour training package intended for regional training.


PMID: 12320278

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