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On September 7th, Nutrition International joined Kenya in marking the 25th World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) in Kisumu County.

Every year, more than 170 countries come together to sensitize the world on the critical role of breastfeeding in child survival and development as a commemoration of the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, including Kenya, as well as by WHO, UNICEF and other stakeholders to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.  The theme for the celebrations this year was ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’ highlighting the importance of working together to strengthen partnerships at all levels to support breastfeeding for a more sustainable future.

Following the lead of the Kisumu County government, a media breakfast took place with stakeholders including UNICEF, International Medical Corps, Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Nutrition International.

The purpose of the panel was to create awareness on why breastfeeding is a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) investment, review Kenya’s breastfeeding status and discuss how to create breastfeeding-friendly environments both in the workplaces and at a community-level.

“Nutrition International believes in partnerships and leveraging resources for a common goal. This event is evident as partners have come together to ensure its success. Nutrition International calls upon increased funding to raise breastfeeding rates from birth through two years and stronger partnerships from Ministry of Health, National, County, community and partner to support promote, support and protect breastfeeding in all settings that is at home, in the community, workplace and public places – everywhere.”
-Suzanne Mboya, Senior Program Officer, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN), Nutrition International

The main World Breastfeeding Week celebration took place in Nyakach Sub County, Kisumu County, with guests including the Deputy Governor of Kisumu H. E. Dr. Mathews Awili, UNICEF, Action Against Hunger, Kenya Red Cross, Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO), APHIAplus (AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance), Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), Kibera Integrated Community Self-Help Programme (KICOSHEP), and Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK).

Nutrition International, the Kisumu County government and partners reiterated their commitment to support breastfeeding as a SMART investment.