Breast-feed­ing pushed for in­fant health

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

China’s top health au­thor­ity is urg­ing that greater ef­forts be made to en­cour­age breast-feed­ing.

It im­proves ma­ter­nal and in­fant well-be­ing, but its pop­u­lar­ity has de­clined over the past decade de­spite clear health ben­e­fits, the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion said.

Glob­ally, about 35 per­cent of deaths of chil­dren un­der age 5 are at­trib­uted to malnutrition, and in­creas­ing breast-feed­ing can de­crease the in­fant mor­tal­ity rate by 13 per­cent, Wang Guo­qiang, vice-min­is­ter at the com­mis­sion, said. Wang spoke at an event mark­ing the World Breast­Feed­ing Week.

“China is one of the coun­tries with the high­est em­ploy­ment rates for women, and guar­an­tee­ing women em­ploy­ees’ rights to breast-feed­ing is very im­por­tant to de­crease the mor­tal­ity rate of in­fants and pro­mote their healthy growth,” Wang said.

Less than 28 per­cent of ba­bies un­der 6 months old were ex­clu­sively breast-fed in China in 2013.

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