Infant Feeding in Emergencies

December is approaching and many people are thinking about making charitable donations… If you’re planning to donate to an organization that provides emergency aid, you might want to check out their record with the infant feeding assistance that they provide. According to a report from the Emergency Nutrition Network:

A recent flood in Botswana (2005/06) during which many hundreds of babies died due to diarrhoea, demonstrated the vulnerability of babies. It was observed that babies who were not breastfed were fifty times more likely to be hospitalised with diarrhoea and then seven times more likely to die after hospitalisation than babies who were breastfed. Hundreds of formula fed babies died in this emergency compared with only a handful of breastfed babies.

The report suggests that relief organizations provide safe places for mothers to breastfeed and train breastfeeding peer counsellors. The ENN also provides information that you can share with your favorite relief organization if their emergency infant feeding programs need improvement.

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