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아이티에서 모유수유 권장 교육을 진행하고 있는 유니세프

2010.03.26

* UNICEF dispels myths about breastfeeding in Haiti
* 시간: 02 min 18 secs
* 촬영도시: Port-au-Prince
* 촬영국가: Haiti
* 촬영일자: 16 Feb 2010


Amidst the collapsed buildings and temporary camps of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, stand 12 special tents dedicated to providing mothers and their infant children a respite, with a focus on breastfeeding.


They're called "baby tents," and they're run by Action Against Hunger, with support from UNICEF.


Anastasia Saint Joseph is a 19-year-old mother, who gave birth just 12 days after the earthquake. Her family home in Port-au-Prince was destroyed and she's now living under a tarp with a dozen family members.


SOUNDBITE (Haitian Creole), Anastasia Saint Joseph, 19 years old: "They taught me that if I breastfeed my baby girl exclusively for the first six months, it will help her stay healthy."


Action Against Hunger estimates that nearly 500 lactating mothers like Anastasia are using the baby tents, and workers are spreading word of the service throughout nearby housing camps.


The issue of breastfeeding is a matter of life and death, as many Haitian mothers have stopped breastfeeding. Myths about breastfeeding arose after the quake, including that stress makes a mother's milk dry up. Another is that if a mother is not eating properly, her milk is no good.


These misconceptions triggered a massive influx of powdered infant formula into Haiti, which has created a dangerous situation. Because many Haitians lack access to clean water, they're tempted to mix the formula with dirty water, which can leave their infants with life-threatening diarrhea. Exclusive breastfeeding eliminates this threat.


In the case of children who've lost their mothers to the earthquake, UNICEF and Action Against Hunger are providing the children ready-to-use infant formula. But the focus is breastfeeding whenever possible.


SOUNDBITE (English), Lucile Grosjean, ACF International: "There is a huge need of this kind of tent everywhere in Port-au-Prince because there are a lot of children in Haiti. And with the earthquake, a lot of mothers stopped breastfeeding, so it's really important for the well-being of the children to have this tent. And also the psycho-social support is really important in the moment."


As is the case in any emergency, Haiti's infants and young children are the most vulnerable survivors of the quake.


Breastfeeding is an extremely effective and affordable way to help keep them alive and healthy.

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