COMMUNITY MEDICINE DEPARTMENT
An Advocacy and Awareness Event for Religious Leaders on the Importance of Breastfeeding was held on 23 August 2023 at Ramada Hotel, Islamabad, organized by Nutrition Wing of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, with collaboration of UNICEF, and religious leaders from various Islamic sects from across Pakistan. Head of Department of Community Medicine, Prof Brig (R) Dr Naila Azam was invited to attend the event and represented by Dr Anila Rahman and Dr Asmara Malik. The primary objective was to engage religious leaders to pledge towards promoting and supporting breastfeeding among working mothers in Pakistan.
The event began opening remarks from Dr Khawaja Masuood Ahmed, National Coordinator - Nutrition & National Fortification Alliance at the Ministry of NHSR&C followed by Dr Baseer Khan Achakzai, Director General Health, Ministry of NHSR&C. Dr Saba Shuja, Nutrition Officer, UNICEF Pakistan, spoke on the legislative updates and implementation barriers to recently passed laws regarding breast feeding facilitation for women in the workplace. Dr Abdullah Fadil, Country Representative UNICEF, stressed the need for engagement of husbands in promoting breastfeeding in their families while also engaging female heads of families such as grandmothers.
The Advocacy and Awareness Event for Religious Leaders on the Importance of Breastfeeding brought together diverse stakeholders, including religious leaders, to collaborate on a common goal. We are encouraged by the progress made during this event and look forward to continuing our participative collaborative efforts to improve maternal and child health in Pakistan through breastfeeding advocacy.