World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August 2019) - It may be holiday season but for our associate member ViAllaite, July was a busy month with media appearances, community awareness days and new partnerships.
Preparations for the World Breastfeeding Week, a week in which each country must make a special effort to encourage and promote breastfeeding, saw an opportunity for ViAllaite Cameroon to come out of Yaoundé and give new experiences a shot. ViAllaite’s goal is, as it has always been since it was founded: to fight against malnutrition and infant mortality in Cameroon.
Their first stop was in Douala, the economic capital of the country, to take in a radio show (ABK) where the focus was on men and their fears and frustrations with regards to breastfeeding!
The team then headed to the coast to train the health staff of the Kribi District Hospital. There it was media attention once again and an interview by Kribi CRTV as part of two recordings for the programme “‘SOS Santé”‘ to be broadcast on the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week.
They took advantage of this trip to organise a community awareness and education day in the village of Fifinda on issues of breastfeeding and infant nutrition. A successful initiative…
In Yaoundé, ViAllaite’s activities continue to progress with the creation of new partnerships: with the Medela Company (a company that sells material for breastfeeding: milk, cream for nipples, baby bottles. They provided ViAllaite with material that they could use for their educational talks); the Fins Wins association (an association that supports women who sell fruits and vegetables in the markets. These women are important in communicating with other women because markets are places to meet. ViAllaite organizes training for these women so that they can share their knowledge with their clients); and the Association of Residents in Paediatrics (made up of students who finish their pediatric training) – ViAllaiite provides them with training.
ViAllaite’s success with mothers continues apace with the team meeting between 3000 and 4000 mothers per month in educational talks during immunisation or prenatal appointments – and 500 to 600 mothers in maternity.
Viallaite regularly visits the media, both television and radio stations, to talk about breastfeeding and to promote its importance. There have been successful indicators in 2018 suggesting that more mothers are practicing breastfeeding and are doing it for a little bit longer than previously recorded.
In the extreme North, where Viallaite just opened a new branch, their activities got off to a good start with team member Carine meeting up with nearly 1,400 mothers in educational talks and nearly 150 mothers in maternity during the month of July.
ViAllaite is now considering expanding its activities to the West of Cameroon by offering training to health and outreach staff in the villages.
ViAllaite was invited at the World Breastfeeding Week opening event in Yaoundé, where it as represented by Dr. Clemence Vougmo, pediatrician and president of its Cameroonian office (see video below). A breastfeeding coalition convention was signed on this occasion between the Association of Midwives of Cameroon, the Association of Pediatricians of Cameroon and ViAllaite.
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