Breastfeeding in emergencies with assessment of recent humanitarian crises and the Covid-19 pandemic

The world is becoming a place where the number of emergencies and humanitarian crises is increasing rapidly due to economic inequality and the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries, as well as climate changes leading to disruption of the natural balance and development of natural disasters. The most vulnerable groups of the population including women and children always are aff ected by disasters. The younger the child, the more vulnerable he/she is, especially if not naturally fed or having a mother or parents. Various humanitarian organizations have been involved in a number of crises, with the World Health Organization and UNICEF and other United Nations-related organizations leading the way. In the care of mothers, infants and young children, most important is to ensure appropriate nutrition because otherwise it can result in life-threatening health conditions. The lack of protection, support and promotion of natural nutrition (breastfeeding) and its disruption and undermining by uncritical and uncontrolled donations and distribution of infant formula are the biggest challenge due to the l ack of information of mothers, those who provide support in emergencies from both governmental and non-governmental sector, without cross-sectoral cooperation, thus causing uncoordinated and sometimes harmful interventions. Therefore, it is recommended that governments issue guidelines on infant and young child nutrition prior to the occurrence of an emergency, and crisis management regulations in which the issue of infant and young child nutrition will be given due consideration. Key words: BREAST FEEDING; NUTRITIONAL STATUS; EMERGENCIES; COVID19
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 64, No 2, april - june 2020
Authors: Milan Stanojević, Anita Pavičić Bošnjak, Josip Grgurić
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2020;64:83-93

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