Thursday, August 06, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week: Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are wrapping up by the end of 2015 and will be replaced by the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals.  These 17 goals and 169 targets should focus global efforts to end poverty for the next 15 years.

Nutrition is mentioned in the second of the goals: "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Breastfeeding would be crucial for two of the targets under Goal Two: 

"2.1 by 2030 end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round 

2.2 by 2030 end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving by 2025 the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and older person."

Infant and maternal mortality are mentioned in the third goal:  "Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."

Breastfeeding would be crucial for the following targets under  Goal Three:  

"3.1 by 2030 reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births 

3.2 by 2030 end preventable deaths of newborns and under-five children 

3.3 by 2030 end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases 

3.4 by 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) 
through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being."  

While breastfeeding is crucial to the achievement of these goals, it is hardly mentioned.  The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and other organizations have called upon the United Nations to develop and include actual breastfeeding targets in the SDGs.

No comments: