9th IBFAN AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE 2016
Overall Theme: Translating the Global Strategy into good Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices
Background: According to the World Health Organisation, adequate nutrition, beginning in early stages of life, is crucial to ensure good physical and mental development and long-term health. The key recommendation is to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of the child’s life. The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, including providing the perfect nutrition and protection from life-threatening ailments, obesity and non-communicable diseases. However, more than half of the world’s new-borns are not breastfed within the first hour of birth. In addition to this poor practice, only 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life. The sub-optimal breastfeeding practices contribute to 800,000 infant deaths globally. Several reports have highlighted the fact that sub-optimal breastfeeding has greatly contributed to malnutrition, which continues to be a major public health challenge especially in Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of the children below 5 years of age are stunted and together with South Asia are home to three-quarters of the world’s stunted children. It is particularly noteworthy that the Africa Region is faced with the double burden of under-nutrition and overweight. In 2011, more than two-thirds of the 42 million overweight children under 5 years of age resided in low and middle-income countries.
In May 2012, the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed the Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) building on the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding that was adopted by the WHA in 2002. The Global strategy identified 10 areas of action for governments, including implementing the Code so as to enhance breastfeeding and optimal infant and young child feeding. The resolution from the 65th WHA urged Member States to put into practice proven nutrition interventions to achieve the following six targets by the year 2025. The 2012 World Breastfeeding Conference provided a platform to put breastfeeding back on the agenda, further aligning it to the 65th WHA MIYCN Implementation Plan and the Global strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding. The participants at the conference recognised that protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and optimal infant and young child feeding is a human rights’ issue and should be entrenched in the public policy and programmes as a necessary condition needing resources.
IBFAN Africa has been organising regional conferences that bring together representatives from Member States to deliberate on, and share experiences pertaining to the promotion, protection and support for appropriate infant and young child feeding. The 9th African Regional Conference will provide the platform for following up the resolutions made at the 2012 World Breastfeeding Conference held in New Delhi, India and the progress made towards attaining the 2025 targets set by the WHA.
Overall goal: Share experience from Member States on the progress made in implementation of appropriate maternal, infant and young child feeding interventions by focussing on the priority actions at the regional level, and efforts made to accelerate progress towards attaining the 2025 targets set by the WHA. This conference will also feed into the second World Breastfeeding Conference to be held in December 2016 in South Africa.
Conference Organizers: IBFAN Uganda in collaboration with IBFAN Africa and the Ministry of Health of Uganda.
Registration: Registration for the conference is now open. For registration details Click here
- To download a Call for Abstracts Click here
- To download an invitation letter Click here
- To download a Letter of Support for the 9th IBFAN Africa Regional Conference Click here
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