World Breastfeeding Week: VIA Global Health Partners with Maziwa to Support Mothers’ Breastfeeding Journeys
VIA is commemorating World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) by amplifying the leadership and voice of our friends at Maziwa, our supplier partner and the innovator of the incredible Wema breast pump and digital education and support network for busy breastfeeding mothers. In following the global theme “Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”, the team at VIA has been on our own learning journey about the importance of breastfeeding and its significant impact on health and economic development.
WBW began in 1992 with the goal of generating public awareness and support for breastfeeding, yet there is still much work to be done to remove barriers and invest in enabling environments, equitable solutions, and innovative strategies that will strengthen the benefits of breastfeeding – for the health and wellbeing of women and children and their communities.
There are known benefits to exclusive breastfeeding – the practice of giving an infant only breastmilk for the first 6 months – it has the single largest potential impact on child mortality of any other preventive intervention and is among other optimal breastfeeding practices which also include initiation within one hour of birth and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age. We know that around 800,000 infant deaths could be averted through better breastfeeding practices. Breastmilk is critical to child health because it provides exceptional and essential nutrition and serves as an infant’s first immunization against respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases. Breastfeeding can also be linked to all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals in its positive contribution to health, early childhood development and education, and inclusive economic and employment opportunities when women are sufficiently empowered and supported in their households and workplaces. Despite these benefits, barriers to breastfeeding can be attributed to social and cultural attitudes, poor knowledge about breastfeeding, lack of adequate skilled support in healthcare and community environments, and workplace settings that are not conducive to breastfeeding.
Our partners at Maziwa developed the Wema to enable, empower, and encourage working moms to continue breastfeeding with an easy-to-use, discrete, versatile, and affordable breast pump so they do not have to prematurely wean, and can still pursue their career and employment goals. This pump, combined with their online breastfeeding education and Community Breastfeeding Ambassador (CBA) program, embodies the very theme of this year’s WBW to Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.”
At VIA, we recognize that we also have a role in promoting and supporting breastfeeding mothers through our platform, partnerships, and products. We believe every woman, family, and community should have equitable access to the benefits of breastfeeding, and commitment to contribute to global efforts to scale up breastfeeding practices. Women should not have to choose between working and breastfeeding, an impossible choice between the health of their babies and family, or economic livelihood. We are proud to partner with Maziwa to make life a little bit easier for working moms and women on the go who want to continue breastfeeding.
VIA Global Health, as an online procurement platform, has positively impacted the lives of nearly 5.5 million people through its distribution channels for buyers in LMICs, who serve public, private, and the FBO/NGO health care facilities. VIA Global Health is a market leader in creating awareness about and access to lifesaving products, and managing customer-oriented services from purchase to delivery.
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