UNICEF Lauds Ethiopia’s Public Health Promotion Works

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Addis Ababa August 7/2019 Ethiopia has been doing progressive works in creating accommodation for breastfeeding and extending maternity leave to 4 months as well as giving consultation in clinics by professionals, according to UNICEF.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Acting Deputy Representative of UNICEF Karen Allen said the country’s public health promotion works as well as the aggressive stance against commercialization of infant milk substance promotion has been picking up the rate of breastfeeding.

While 69 percent of mothers in Ethiopia practiced early initiation of breastfeeding in 2005, the figure grown to 73 percent in 2016, Allen said, adding that this shows it can surpass infant and child feeding rate.

However, she noted that only 58 percent of children under 6 month are at present exclusively breastfed for 6 month.

“We can regain the lost ground, and we need to keep working on this to get even higher percentage,” Allen pointed out.

Health State Minister Dr. Liya Tadesse said knowledge gap of the benefits in rural areas and unfavorable conditions to breastfeeding in urban work areas has been challenging for many years. However there have been changes, she added.

The state minister said the government is doing various works and revising policies to improve breastfeeding in the county, which has contributed to lower child death rate under the age of 5 to 62 percent.

Yet Dr. Liya emphasized on the need to create conducive place for breastfeeding at work place and review more policies to create better environment.

Ethiopia has been celebrating breastfeeding week for the past 11 years in the first week of August every year.