Jana Zoriry – EMTV Online
The effective implementation of the Government’s National Infant and Young Child Policy (2014) (IYCP), and the National Nutritional Policy (2016-2016) (NNP) could eventually improve the poor nutrition situation of infants during the first six months.
Both policies may change the course of sub-optimal breastfeeding practices over the coming years if they are fully implemented through a multi-sectoral approach involving stakeholders at all levels.
UNICEF Representative in PNG, David Mcloughlin said despite many mothers in PNG practising breastfeeding, adherence to global recommendations and optimal practices are poor.
“Many mothers in PNG practice breastfeeding but adherence to global recommendations and optimal practices such as early initiation of breastfeeding including giving colostrum within the first hour of birth, immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, is poor,” said Mr Mcloughlin.
Mr Mcloughlin commended PNG Government on its IYCF and NNP policies.
“UNICEF commends the Government on its IYCF and NNP policies that can provide a guide on how to improve the nutritional status of young children in PNG”.
Mcloughlin also added that too many babies miss out on the benefits of early exclusive breastfeeding and mothers do not often get the right support to give their children the best start in life but that could now be changed.
Following the approval of the IYCF policy in 2014 and NNP in 2018, the country can now adopt UNICEF’s global infant and young child feeding and counselling training package to support health workers and other key stakeholders in PNG implement these policies.
Image: National Public Radio, Inc