Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Obstacles to Optimal Breastfeeding Practices in Uzbekistan (CESCR)



IBFAN presented an alternative report to inform the CESCR Committee on the situation on the issue of infant and young child feeding in Uzbekistan.

General overview of breastfeeding in Uzbekistan

The alternative report highlighted several obstacles to breastfeeding practices in Uzbekistan. First of all, the country has low rates of early initiation to breastfeeding (67%) and exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age (26%). Furthermore, suboptimal infant feeding practices have been observed: the introduction of other liquids-especially water and other milk/formula- and of complementary food in infants’ diet occurs too early. Moreover, the health personnel appear to be not duly trained to promote and support breastfeeding. Besides, the International Code on Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is not implemented and the marketing of breastmilk substitutes is not regulated in the domestic legislation. Finally, the maternity leave’s duration after delivery is less than 2 months and the following parental leave is paid inadequately.

Discussion on infant and young child feeding

No specific questions were raised on infant and young child feeding by the experts. Nevertheless, during the discussion, the Uzbek delegation referred to a letter dated on 27 December 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General. This letter explained that Uzbekistan hosted an international symposium entitled “National Model of Mother and Child Health-care in Uzbekistan: Healthy Mother, Healthy Child” that took place in Tashkent on 26 November 2011. During the latter symposium, according to the delegation, it has been acknowledged that the Uzbek National Model is one of the most effective strategy for achieving a good development in the area of maternal and infantile health.

CECSR Concluding Observations

In its recommendations towards Uzbekistan, the Committee notes that despite the significant decrease in maternal and child mortality, their occurrence remain relatively high. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to improve mother and child health, especially during pre-natal and neonatal periods (para 24).