Published: Tuesday 30 September 1997

Scientists have for long propagated that breast feeding is perfect for babies and fulfils their total nutritional requirements for the first six months. Realising its importance, Brazil has launched several campaigns to promote breast feeding. There are six lactation training and resource centres in the country.

The Lactation Training Programme and human milk bank at the Maternidade Escola Assis Chateaubriand in Fortaleza, is one of the six centres, which trains health professionals, helps to define medical school curricula and provides information and literature about breast-feeding and early childhood nutrition.

Brazil is among those few countries, which joined the international campaign launched by the World Health Organisation ( who ) and unicef in the year 1991 to promote breast feeding. Carolina Siu, health officer of unicef in Brasilia, says that the country has at present 51 baby-friendly hospitals. Out of 7,762 such hospitals in 103 countries, Latin America and the Caribbean had 721 hospitals as on June 1996. Brazil's baby-friendly hospital initiative efforts aim at reaching out to all communities, including rural areas.

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