The Multi Sectoral Nutrition Center (MSNC), Planning and Development Board, Government of the Punjab, in collaboration with development partners hosted the Provincial Celebration of Global Breastfeeding Week 2020.

The Breastfeeding Week is observed every year in over 120 countries by governments and development partners. The theme of this year’s Breastfeeding Week is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet.” The theme focuses on protecting and promoting women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling and sensitize masses on the importance of breastfeeding during Covid-19 pandemic.

The event included participation of all key stakeholders, amongst them were esteemed representatives including Dr Yasmin Rashid, Minister for Health GoPb, Dr Sohail Saqlain, Member Health Nutrition and Population / Executive Director MSNC, P&D Board, representation from Federal Ministry of Planning Commission, development partners including UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, DFID, SUN, NI, WHO as well as NGOs etc.

Addressing the occasion, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Minister for Health, Government of the Punjab, said, “Multifactorial determinants of breastfeeding require supportive measures at various levels in various departments. Breastfeeding is not the sole responsibility of the mother, it is a collective responsibility of the family, society and government to provide opportunities and environment to breastfeeding mothers. Malnutrition and promotion of breastfeeding remains a top priority agenda of the current Government. I believe, it is essential to cascade high level commitments into effective policies, strategies and plans that benefit the masses. She applauded the leadership and commitment of the Chairman P&D Board, Mr Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh in setting up the Multi Sectoral Nutrition Center (MSNC) with new vision and broadening its scope by adding other important sectors. She said, MSNC will lead the path the Department needs to take – through a multi-sectoral approach and the international best practices”.

Dr Sohail Saqlain, Member HNP, P&D Board said, Sustainable Development Goals specifically address the need to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. It can only be achieved if no child, woman or man is left behind – regardless of how difficult and challenging the circumstances. He said, there is a dire need to aware individuals, families, communities, healthcare givers, policy makers and general public on the importance of Breastfeeding. He paid tribute to the Chairman P&D Board, Mr. Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, and Secretary P&D Board, Mr. Imran Sikander Baloch who helped and supported the programmatic transformation and setting the new road map and correct strategic directions for MSNC.

The celebration marks a global, national and provincial commitment to encourage, promote and support breastfeeding.