Wednesday, 5 June 2013

BREASTFEEDING IN UZBEKISTAN AT THE CRC COMMITTEE

At the 23rd session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) the situation of children’s rights in Uzbekistan has been reviewed on Tuesday 4th May. IBFAN presented its alternative report on the state of infant and young child feeding in the Country, noting the high infant and maternal mortality rates and the very low rate of exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months of age (only 26%).

The CRC Committee asked information on measures to prevent infant and maternal mortality and on breastfeeding practices and the implementation of the International Code on Marketing of Breastmilksubstitutes.
The Uzbek delegation mentioned two programs designed and implemented in the Country in collaboration with UNICEF, namely the ‘Growth and development for young children’ program and the ‘Breastfeeding’ program to monitor the health of newborns. As a result of these efforts, over the last 10 years the proportion of breastfeeding has increased to 80%.

It is not clear if the data provided by the delegation concerns exclusive breastfeeding and if it reports a national average or it relates only to focus communities involved in UNICEF programs, therefore such data does not provide a clear picture of the situation of breastfeeding rates in Uzbekistan.

The question on marketing of breastmilk substitutes remained unanswered.

Concerning maternal and infant mortality, the Country delegation reported a 10% of maternal mortality in 2012 and a 4% of infant mortality in the same year. These data are much lower than those reported by UNICEF in 2010-2008 (30% of maternal mortality and 44% of infant mortality) and it might be due to discrepancies in data collection, a general problem acknowledged by the Uzbek delegation and being tackled at the national level.