Fortunately, Cuban health authorities at no time in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus did not abandon it, Odalys Rodriguez, the Officer of the “Every Child Survives and Thrives” Program of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said.
What happened here did not happen in the same way in other latitudes, Rodriguez enphasized, who called in this capital to promote breastfeeding in Cuba and to multiply this message at all levels.
She reflected on some aspects that should be worked on urgently, for example, exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, at one year of age, and at two years of age and beyond.
In addition to other factors, primary health care must intervene here, Rodriguez said.
The fact that 72 percent of children are bottle-fed during the stage when they should only receive food from the mother is a major obstacle to their well-being, because breastfeeding can prevent overweight and obesity in the future, among other benefits.
Covid-19 diverted attention from this problem, but it is time to refocus on the practice, promotion and protection of the act of feeding a newborn.
She pointed out that breastfeeding is included in the goals of the 2020-2030 agenda for sustainable development.
In order to be successful, the support of the family, workplaces, health institutions and communities is needed, the expert said.
She considered childcare consultations to be important, the main and most significant scenario for promoting this practice.
Rodriguez highlighted Unicef’s support to human milk banks, which in fact, Cuba currently has 14.
“Breastfeeding is the best start for life,” Rodriguez concluded.