We publish below the statement by the First lady Auxilia Mnangagwa on facebook:
Yesterday, Zimbabwe official launched its 2020 World Breastfeeding Week commemorations under the theme; Promoting breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet!
As a mother, I am taking part in these commemorations because I understand and value breastfeeding’s positive impact to our nation. Not only is it a sustainable feeding option. It plays a crucial role in protecting the climate and environment.
Climate change and environmental degradation are some of the most urgent challenges facing our world today. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) – including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and others due to human activity – have increased global temperatures by over 1℃ since pre-industrial times. Our food production systems and consumption patterns are significant contributors to climate change and environmental degradation.
We now understand that for us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, breastfeeding should be at the core of our efforts aimed at achieving these targets by 2030.
Breastfeeding has been shown to save over 800,000 children’s lives a year worldwide, equivalent to 13% of all deaths in children under two, and prevent an extra 20,000 deaths from breast cancer every year. Breastfeeding also acts as a cornerstone for economic growth and development for nations.
I want you to imagine the amount of air pollution that takes place during production, packaging, distribution and preparation methods of infant formula. On the other hand, breastmilk production only requires the additional food that a mother needs to consume, therefore using fewer natural resources and resulting in almost no waste.
Let us work together towards a Zimbabwe free from hunger, poverty and malnutrition.
Let us promote breastfeeding for a healthier planet!