229385 Social dimensions of breastfeeding: Impact on achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Monika S. Sawhney, PhD , School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Collins Opiyo, PhD , Population and Social Statistics, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Nairobi, Kenya
The association between duration of breastfeeding and child survival is strong and positive. Breastfeeding together is one of the most effective cross-cutting interventions to achieve all eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Breast milk provides a child with adequate nutrient intake and immunologic defense, as well as helps to regulate birth-spacing. With benefits of breastfeeding well documented, many of the developing countries still continue to report lower levels of breastfeeding. These lead to recurrent diarrhea, Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI), and other infections resulting poor nutritional status of children.

The objectives of this study are two fold. The first is to determine the impact of social economic determinants on duration of breastfeeding across low income countries. The second is to recommend some policy actions that would enhance complementarity in the roles of breastfeeding on one hand and its role in accelerating achievement of child health related MDGs. The study is based on 24 low-income countries where Demographic and Health Survey data are available for the year 2005 and beyond. Ordinary least squares is used to predict breastfeeding length using socio-economic variables (wealth quintiles, maternal education, and female autonomy). Length of breastfeeding is the response variable while control variables include age, sex of the child, and use of antenatal services. Preliminary results show that length of breastfeeding is strongly associated with use of antenatal services, and women's autonomy. Positive breastfeeding campaigns can accelerate achievement of MDGs especially among countries struggling to achieve child health related MDGs.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn about importance of breastfeeding and its role in reducing infant and child mortality 2. Understand the social dimensions of breastfeeding 3. Gain knowledge regarding positive breastfeeding campaigns can have on improving health status of children and help in achievement of millennium development goals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a terminal degree in Public Health with focus on international health (maternal and child health) and am primarily responsible for the work related to this research assignment
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.