What We Are Doing
Infant and Young Child Feeding initiative saves children's lives in Jordan 26 Feb 2015
(Written by Sewar Sawalha, Public Relations Manager, Save the Children Jordan)
Save the Children Jordan has been successfully running the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) initiative, part of their EVERY ONE campaign, across the country including in both the Za’atari and Azraq camps. The intiative hosts education sessions in communities helping women understand the importance of breastfeeding and how it is a superfood for children under the age of five.
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life, from birth to the second birthday, are critical for intellectual development and lifelong health. The nutrition that a child receives early in life is a critical building block for the physical growth, development of our brains, and strengthening of immune systems. IYCF program encourages pregnant and lactating mothers to breastfeed because of its numerous benefits for mothers and children. It promotes, protect and support appropriate breastfeeding practices, such as early breastfeeding initiation (preferably from the first hour), exclusive breastfeeding for six months, introduction of complimentary feeding after six months, align with continuing breastfeeding for two years.
Watch a video of one of the success stories from the IYCF initiative.
Recently, Save the Children Jordan, in cooperation with the Jordan Breast Cancer Program, under the umbrella of King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center commemorated World Cancer Day, on 4 February at the center in Jabal Nuzha. The event, under the IYCF initiative, promoted better health for mother and child through breastfeeding which reduces the risks of breast and ovarian cancer for mothers and is considered the best source of nutrition for infants under five.
Fifty women attended the awareness session, which highlighted the benefits of breastfeeding in reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The session was followed by clinical examination done by the Jordan Breast Cancer Program specialists, and distribution of educational leaflets to raise awareness on the benefits and importance of breastfeeding in reducing risks of breast and ovarian cancer. At the conclusion of the event, breastfeeding shawls were distributed to guarantee breastfeeding privacy to mothers.
Save the Children Jordan’s CEO Manal Wazani commented on the importance of holding such an event by saying: “According to national statistics, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, with a percentage of 37.4% in Jordan. Hence, we have a significant responsibility to raise awareness among pregnant and lactating women about the importance of breastfeeding in reducing the risks of breast and ovarian cancer, and preventing post-partum hemorrhage. Breast milk is also considered super food for the infant, with balanced proportions and sufficient quantity of all the needed nutrients and water for the first 6 months and it contains antibodies that protect against diseases, especially diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Shireen, one of the attendees says, “I had so many fears because my mother passed away from of breast cancer. When I knew that the Infant and Young Child Feeding program at Save the Children Jordan are organizing a breast cancer awareness session, I immediately came. I did not know that breastfeeding has so many benefits, especially like reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It was also wonderful that they have provided a free clinical examination to attendees because I honestly cannot afford one.”
Save the Children Jordan, under the chairmanship of HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal organized the event, in cooperation with King Hussein Cancer Foundation, and attended by the initiative’s main partner UNICEF.