Deputy Minister of Health Prof. Dr. Emine Alp Meşe attended the “6th National Breastfeeding Symposium and Golden Baby-Friendly Provinces Award Ceremony” organized on occasion of the Breastfeeding Week (1-7 October).
Following the 6th National Breastfeeding Symposium held in Ankara, award ceremony took place to honor the “Baby-Friendly Provinces”.
“Nutrition deficiencies are still a critical problem in certain parts of the world in spite of the advanced technologies and scientific studies in the field of health. The clinical condition triggered by insufficient breastfeeding causes 50% of the infant mortalities in the developing countries.
Aware of its vital importance and aiming to promote breastfeeding, the Ministry of Health has been implementing “Promoting Breastfeeding and Baby-Friendly Health Facilities Program” as of 1991. It is our primary goal to make sure that babies are fed with breast milk just after the birth, and feeds on only breast milk for the first six months, and that breastfeeding continues for two years and beyond with the suitable nutrition.
The Program started with the “Baby-Friendly Hospitals” concept applied all around the world and became “Baby-Friendly Health Facilities” with integration of primary care health facilities in 2000s. It was followed by “Baby-Friendly Province” and then “Golden Baby-Friendly Province” for the provinces which made great efforts to improve the conditions in this area. By now, 296 hospitals were found worthy of the “Baby-Friendly Hospital” award.
99% of the deliveries take place in baby-friendly hospitals. So far, over 50 thousands healthcare professionals received “Breast Milk and Breastfeeding Consultancy Training” said Prof. Alp Meşe in her speech.
Following the symposium, Çorum, Zonguldak, Şanlıurfa, Kars, Diyarbakır, Sakarya, Batman, İzmir and Denizli received the “Golden Baby-Friendly Province” award.