By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, AUG 4: The Health Department of the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Tibetan government in exile, observed the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) on Tuesday which is held every year between 1-7 August in over 120 countries by UNICEF and WHO.
Health Minister of CTA, Choekyong Wangchuk, addressed the media at the event, “Under [WBW], the health department has carried out a few programs that included inviting experts in the field of audio-visual short films based on the theme of breastfeeding. We had 16 participants and 3 out of them were declared winners in the competition along with additional consolation prizes.” Tenzin Norzin, Tenzin Wangchuk, and Lhakpa Wangyal are the names of the winners in the short film competition.
The presentations were based on the importance of breastfeeding citing benefits to both the new born child and the mother. It also discussed the modern social stigma attached to breastfeeding in the community. Videos of mothers talking about their experiences also attempted to open discussion on mental health in a mother-child relationship.
The cabinet minister talked about misinformation on various social media platforms, “In modern times, contradictory things are surfacing on the information of breastfeeding. Since we are a consumer culture, breastfeeding has become a tool for the market, and products are sold merely for profit. The system and norms of breastfeeding have been affected by consumerism and modernization. The world organizations and affected entities are taking note of the blunders made by consumerism.”
The WBW is an initiative that emphasizes the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. The campaign strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months that yields many health benefits, providing critical nutrients and protection from deadly diseases.