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TIME Examines Breastfeeding In The Philippines

TIME examines breastfeeding in the Philippines, noting that the country will be one of 18 taking part in a “global moment of breastfeeding” on Friday.

“Through events like Friday’s Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide, advocates … have helped make the Philippines, which has one of Asia’s highest birthrates, one of the leaders in the international legal effort to support women’s right to breastfeed,” the magazine writes. Grace Agrasada – a pediatrics professor at the University of the Philippines, Manila – said, “Breastfeeding can save the lives of both mothers and infants. It may be the single most important intervention for promoting Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 [reducing child mortality and improving maternal health].”

The Philippines has received the highest rating from the International Baby Food Network, which ranks countries according to their compliance of the WHO’s 1981 International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The Philippines has “implemented most of the Code and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions by means of a comprehensive law, decree or other legally enforceable measure,” TIME writes. The article includes additional information about the economics of breastfeeding and the history of breastfeeding support and legislation in the Philippines (Fitzpatrick, 10/2).

IPS Examines Maternal Mortality In Liberia 

In related news, Inter Press Service examines how the rainy season affects maternal mortality in Liberia. “Liberia is still rebuilding a health and transportation infrastructure that was destroyed by war between 1989 and 2003. The reconstruction efforts are hindered during wet season, between May and November, when Liberia receives on average 4,300 millimetres of rain. It’s one of the wettest countries in the world,” IPS writes.


Medical studies conducted in Gambia, Mozambique and Senegal have shown that maternal mortality increases significantly during rainy seasons, and “researchers conclude that several factors contribute to the seasonal spike, including a higher rate of malaria and reduced access to health services.” The article also looks at the factors that contribute to maternal mortality in Liberia. IPS notes that Liberian government “reports indicate that sufficient access to healthcare will require more than just medical clinics and more doctors, nurses, and midwives” (Allen, 10/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.