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Lactancia materna podría evitar un millón de muertes al año, según Unicef

Lactancia materna podría evitar un millón de muertes al año, según Unicef

Los beneficios de este líquido son innumerables para el bebé y su madre.

Lactancia materna podría evitar un millón de muertes al año, según Unicef
Por: Efe
01 de Agosto de 2012
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Cerca de un millón de muertes entre niños menores de cinco años podrían evitarse cada año si las madres en los países en desarrollo practicaran la lactancia materna y recibieran el apoyo de sus Gobiernos, alertaron hoy los responsables del Fondo de Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef).

Con motivo de la Semana Mundial de la Lactancia Materna, Unicef lanzó un llamamiento para que se apueste por "unas políticas nacionales sólidas" que apoyen esa práctica en los países en desarrollo para impedir la muerte evitable de cerca de un millón de niños debido a enfermedades como la diarrea o la neumonía.

"Si la lactancia materna se promoviera con mayor eficacia y se protegiera a las mujeres de la comercialización agresiva de los sucedáneos de la leche materna, más niños sobrevivirían y prosperarían con menores tasas de enfermedades, desnutrición y retraso del crecimiento", dijo el director ejecutivo de Unicef, Anthony Lake, en un comunicado.

El responsable del fondo de la ONU dedicado a la infancia lamentó que, a pesar de "las convincentes pruebas que demuestran que la lactancia materna exclusiva evita enfermedades como la diarrea y la neumonía", las tasas mundiales de lactancia materna se han mantenido relativamente estancadas en el mundo en desarrollo. Las cifras que maneja Unicef detallan que en los países en vías de desarrollo esa práctica experimentó un crecimiento del 32 por ciento en 1995 al 39 por ciento en 2010. Algunos de los obstáculos para mejorar las tasas de lactancia materna son, según el fondo, "la comercialización generalizada y sin ética de los fabricantes de sucedáneos de leche materna, las deficientes políticas nacionales que no apoyan los permisos por maternidad, y la falta de comprensión de los riesgos que conlleva no dar el pecho".

"La lactancia materna debe ser valorada como un beneficio no sólo para los bebés, las madres y las familias, sino también por el ahorro que implica para los Gobiernos a largo plazo", añadió Lake en el mismo comunicado. Unicef expone datos en su llamada a la acción que indican que un niño que no se alimenta exclusivamente de leche materna tiene 14 veces más probabilidades de morir durante los primeros seis meses de vida que un niño alimentado de esta manera.

"La leche materna cumple con todas las necesidades nutricionales del bebé y es una de las mejores prácticas a favor de la supervivencia infantil, ya que el costo principal es la nutrición de la madre", añade el comunicado de Unicef. Del 1 al 7 de agosto se celebra en más de 170 países la Semana Mundial de la Lactancia Materna, destinada a fomentar la lactancia materna o natural, y a mejorar la salud de los bebés de todo el mundo.

 

 

 

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