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Differences between international recommendations on breastfeeding in the presence of HIV and the attitudes and counselling messages of health workers in Lilongwe, Malawi.
International Breastfeeding Journal. 2006 Mar 9; 1(1):2.To prevent postnatal transmission of HIV in settings where safe alternatives to breastfeeding are unavailable, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding followed by early, rapid cessation of breastfeeding. Only limited data are available on the attitudes of health workers toward this recommendation and the impact of these attitudes on infant feeding counselling messages given to mothers. As part of the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition (BAN) clinical trial, we carried out an in-depth qualitative study of the attitudes, beliefs, and counselling messages of 19 health workers in Lilongwe, Malawi. Although none of the workers had received formal training, several reported having counseled HIV-positive mothers about infant feeding. Health workers with counselling experience believed that HIV-infected mothers should breastfeed exclusively, rather than infant formula feed, citing poverty as the primary reason. Because of high levels of malnutrition, all the workershad concerns about early cessation of breastfeeding. Important differences were observed between the WHO recommendations and the attitudes and practices of the health workers. Understanding these differences is important for designing effective interventions. (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Division of Diarrhoeal and Acute Respiratory Disease Control, 1994 Aug.  p. (Update No. 14)Health workers can play a key role in the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. Their presence at the time of delivery and their subsequent contacts with mothers and infants provide them with unique opportunities to help mother and baby to establish and maintain lactation. In the past two decades, there has been a rapid increase in our understanding, not only of the scientific basis of lactation and suckling, but also of effective management and prevention of breast-feeding problems, including the use of basic counselling skills. Research has shown that if health workers' attitudes and practices are supportive, it is more likely that mothers will breastfeed successfully and for a longer period. Unfortunately, breastfeeding has been neglected in the training of most health workers, leaving a serious gap in both their knowledge and skills. Training is urgently needed at all levels in up-to-date and effective breastfeeding management. The CDD Programme in collaboration with UNICEF has developed the package "Breast-feeding counselling: A training course" to help to fill the gap. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 1987. 163 p.The intent of this publication is to create a broader awareness among people in general as well as and decision-makers of the extent of women's contribution to national health development and the obstacles they face both within and outside the formal health system. It also seeks to create more awareness of the sources of the imbalance between men and women in the extent and nature of their participation in health care. Information is provided about the basic factors to be considered in the development of a longterm strategy to improve the socioeconomic status of women health care providers. the publication else seeks to guide women and men to plan relevant action and to prepare proposals for funding and other forms of support. Women outnumber men as health care providers both within and outside the family and in formal and non- formal settings. Gender-role differentiation is responsible for a sexual division of labor in the family and in the formal labor market. Due to the major contributions women make to people's health, education, and wellbeing, a change in attitude is indicated. The accomplishments of women in the health care field should be recognized, valued, and rewarded rather than concealed, denied, and trivialized.
In: Proceedings of the Interagency Workshop on Health Care Practices Related to Breastfeeding, December 7-9, 1988, Leavey Conference Center, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., edited by Miriam Labbok and Margaret McDonald with Mark Belsey, Peter Greaves, Ted Greiner, Margaret Kyenkya-Isabirye, Chloe O'Gara, James Shelton. [Washington, D.C., Georgetown University Medical Center, Institute for International Studies in Natural Family Planning, 1988].  p.. (USAID Contract No. DPE-3040-A-00-5064-00)In 1986 the European Regional World Health Organization (WHO) Office convened a meeting of health workers' organizations to develop a strategy for implementing breastfeeding promotion. The elements in this strategy are outlined along with the reasons why some countries have seen increases in breastfeeding and a discussion of the possible ways international organizations can help. The "International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes" constitutes the clearest mandate for an "action program" in the field of breastfeeding. It provides a framework for action and for the formulation of a breastfeeding promotion strategy. Further, the "Code" identifies the obligations of both governments and health workers. According to the Resolution recommending the "Code," one of the obligations of governments is to report regularly to WHO on the progress in 5 areas of infant nutrition: encouragement and support of breastfeeding; promotion and support of appropriate weaning practices; strengthening of education, training, and information; promotion of health and social status of women in relation to infant and young child feeding; and appropriate marketing and distribution of breast milk substitutes. The WHO member states in the European Region have taken their reporting obligation seriously; 71 reports from 29 of the 32 members states have been received. The picture that emerges is one of large diversity with regard to breastfeeding both among and within countries. The European Strategy outlines 7 priority areas for action: the basic attitude of health workers; maternity ward routines; the formation of breastfeeding mothers' support groups; ways to support employed mothers who want to breastfeed; research in breastfeeding; commercial pressure on health workers; and the need for advocacy of breastfeeding. The promotion of breastfeeding is the cumulative effect of activities from several different disciplines that becomes evident in the statistics as an increase in breastfeeding. Factors that contribute to an increase in breastfeeding, based on the Scandinavian experience, are outlined. In regard to establishing a breastfeeding policy, the various activities that can encourage and support breastfeeding fall into 3 categories: making breast milk available to the baby by influencing the material conditions of breastfeeding; increasing knowledge either about human milk or about lactation management as well as about changing attitudes and behavior; and assuring the quality of the milk itself. Ideally, an organization with an advisory and to some degree an executive, decision-making function coordinates these activities.
POPULI. 1987; 14(4):15-24.This is a collection of comments by UNFPA Deputy Representatives/Senior Advisors on Population (DRSAPs) concerning their relationships with local governments. The geographical focus is on developing countries. (ANNOTATION)
Report on the evaluation of various family life education projects with particular emphasis on youth in the English-speaking Caribbean: general conclusions and recommendations.
New York, New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], 1984 Nov. xii, 39,  p.Most family life education (FLE) projects included in this evaluation have the longterm objectives of reducing the incidence of teenage prognancy, and promotion of self-reliance and positive, responsible behavior among youth. The immediate objectives and project strategies are also very similar across projects, e.g., in-school and out-of-school FLE, comprehensive youth services, including family planning (FP) and training. The evaluation shows that project design has improved over the years (clearer and measurable formulation of objectives, more comprehensive workplans and better explanation of budgetary items) and projects have moved from addressing a wide variety of broad issues to a more focused consideration of adolescent fertility. However, the Evaluation Mission in concerned that due to the similarities in project design, country-and-time-specific factors have not always been adequately taken into consideration. Other concerns include the lack of systematic needs assessment and use of baseline data to guide implementation. All the projects evaluated have contributed to the training in FLE/FP of a large number of family life educators, teachers and nurses and have thus significantly strengthened professional national capability. Nevertheless, training needs still exist in motivational/attitudinal variables, sex roles, teaching/learning technics. The projects have made a significant contribution to the introduction of FLE into schools and teacher training institutions. The focus at present should be the institutionalization of FLE within the in-school sector, including the development of a policy approving FLE in schools. The development of community-based health centers was often the central activity of the out-of-school FLE component of the projects. These centers have contributed to shaping the countries' attitudes by creating an awareness of teenage pregnancy, by developing an acceptable strategy, by providing a focal point for discussing sensitive issues, and by becoming a mechanism for community mobilization. The projects have also contributed to making FP services available and specialized services for adolescents are being established. The emphasis has been more on education and awareness creation than on contraceptive distribution to adolescents. At present the need is to strengthen the service delivery components. The limited availability of data suggests that adolescent pregnancy remains an urgent problem in the region. Sustained and more focused FLE/FP program efforts directed to adolescents continue to be needed in the region. The most important general lesson learnt from the programs is that programs in adolescent fertility can be started and implemented in countries even prior to declaration of policy by governments. However, at a certain stage of implementation the programs cannot be carried further without explicit government policies and control.