Every August, the Philippines joins the rest of the world in observing breastfeeding awareness. This year, the country sets yet another momentous event in the worldwide campaign of promoting breastfeeding.
ASEAN Breastfeeding Forum: A celebration and a call
This year, the Philippines hosted the commemoration of the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To celebrate this milestone, the Department of Health, in partnership with various government and non-government organizations, conducted the first ever ASEAN Breastfeeding Forum with the theme ASEAN Ugnayan: One Community Protecting, Promoting, and Supporting Breastfeeding” held at the Blue Leaf Hotel Filipinas in Parañaque City from August 3 to 4, 2017.
The two-day forum featured a series of plenary sessions about ASEAN initiatives in breastfeeding and nutrition, implementing and monitoring the Milk Code, maternity protection, community support groups in the implementation of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), IYCF in emergencies, human milk banking, and Unang Yakap (First Embrace). Experts, academicians, and advocates led the discussions, citing their personal experiences and latest studies related to breastfeeding.
Participants also feasted their eyes on the photo exhibit displaying the various faces of breastfeeding. Moreover, the delegates got a glimpse of the Filipino heritage through performances from the Company and Bayang Barrios, among others, during the cultural night.
The forum capped off with the unveiling of the emblem of the ASEAN members’ pledge to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Leovy Ramirez, Advocacy and Communications Officer, CMMCC/September 9, 2017