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Extend the period of lactation Until the baby is six months old, it can prevent the death of 1.3 million children under the age of five each year, according to a study by UNICEF that has been announced on the occasion of the beginning of the "World Breastfeeding Week", which this year has as its theme early initiation.
The work collected by the NGO, prepared in Ghana and published by the medical journal Pediatrics, also concludes that breast milk given to babies immediately after birth it can significantly reduce neonatal mortality in developing countries.
Specifically, "it is possible to avoid 16 percent of neonatal deaths by breastfeeding from the first day of the child's life. baby, a figure that can increase to 22 percent if breastfeeding begins within the first hour after birth. "
According to the executive director of UNICEF, Ann M. Veneman, "More than a third of infant deaths occur during the first month of life, a very delicate time in which early breastfeeding provides critical nutrients, protects newborns against life-threatening diseases, and encourages breastfeeding. growth and development ".
This fact acquires special relevance in African countries, where ten percent of the babies die before reaching the first birthday and most neonatal deaths occur at home.
Although the rate of exclusive breastfeeding up to the age of six months has more than doubled in the region since 1990 - to 30% - "there are still hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to disease and death," UNICEF explained.
The World Breastfeeding Week It began in 1992 and today UNICEF and its allies and collaborators celebrate it in 120 countries. Among the entities that support the initiative are the World Alliance for Breastfeeding and the World Health Organization.
You can read more articles similar to Breast milk prevents deaths, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.