Infant and Young Child Nutrition and Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes

         The Regional Committee,

         Recalling resolutions WHA49.15 and WPR/RC48.R8;

         Having reviewed the report of the Regional Director on infant and young child nutrition and implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes;*

         Acknowledging in particular the cooperation between WHO and other organizations in the field of nutrition, aimed at developing national plans of action for nutrition, including the promotion of breast-feeding;

         Noting with satisfaction the increasing number of countries reporting on infant and young child nutrition, continued expansion of the baby-friendly hospital initiative, and the introduction of breast-feeding counseling training in the curriculum of midwife;

         Concerned that, notwithstanding the measures initiated by an increasing number of Member States to support the aim of the International Code, parts of the Code are frequently not complied with in some countries and areas;

         Recognizing the growing need for support to working women who breast-feed, in view of the increased female participation in the workforce;

         Recognizing further the lack of adequate information on child feeding practices in the first two years of life and the need for special consideration of HIV-infected mothers;

  1. URGES Member States:
    (1) to intensify efforts directed towards the improvement of infant and young child nutrition, in particular support for the baby-friendly hospital initiative and the establishment and strict implementation of measures to give effect to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes;
    (2) to increase and diversify support offered to working mothers in order to encourage breast-feeding, including collaboration between Ministries of Labour to improve maternity legislation for working mothers;
    (3) to expand training in breast-feeding counseling, making it an essential part of the curricula of midwives and other health workers, rather than only a part of in-service training;
    (4) to ensure that advice on good feeding practices in the first two years of life is made available to mothers, other child caretakers and policy-makers;
    (5) to report to WHO at regular intervals on progress made in their national efforts;
  2. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to expand cooperation with Member States in the above-mentioned activities;
    (2) to promote collaboration between Ministries of Health and Labour to improve maternity legislation for women in the workforce;
    (3) to explore additional ways of promoting breast-feeding;
    (4) to continue to expand the baby-friendly hospitals initiative, to include a greater focus on the needs of mothers; and
    (5) to disseminate updated WHO recommendations on feeding practices for infants of HIV-infected mothers.

* WPR/RC50/13

17 September 1999

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