News & Events
Celebrating breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week (1st to 7th August 2018) is about celebrating how breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers – in a world filled with inequality, crises and poverty.
Breastfeeding prevents hunger and malnutrition in all its forms and ensures food security for babies, even in times of crisis. Breastfeeding is a low-cost way of feeding babies and contributes to poverty reduction, as it has no additional burden on household income. Nutrition, food security and poverty reduction are fundamental to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The challenge for champions of breastfeeding is to translate globally agreed policies to positive action in our communities; such as:
- encouraging workplaces to become breastfeeding-friendly;
- providing mother-to-mother support and encouragement to help mothers breastfeed; and
- raising awareness on how breastfeeding contributes to a reduced carbon footprint.
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby
Breast milk is a natural, renewable food that is produced and delivered without pollution, packaging or waste. Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby because:
- it’s all that your baby needs to eat and drink for about the first 6 months;
- it helps to protect your baby against colds, tummy bugs, infections and allergies; and
- it helps your baby to feel safe and secure.
Breast milk is especially important for premature and critically ill babies. The Christchurch Human Milk Bank helps mothers who are unable to provide their babies with enough milk due to maternal illness, medication or low milk supply.
Breastfeeding is perfect for mothers too
Breastfeeding is perfect for you too because:
- it gives you a chance to rest while you are feeding your baby,
- it helps you to feel close to your baby,
- it saves you time,
- it’s free, and
- it may reduce your risk of some cancers and bone disease.
Breastfeeding is an important element in global health
The world’s leaders committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. These goals are aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity. Breastfeeding is linked in several ways to these goals, including:
- Being a natural and low-cost way of feeding babies and children;
- Providing high quality nutrients and adequate energy and can help prevent hunger, undernutrition and obesity;
- Providing all the water a baby needs, even in hot weather. Formula feeding requires access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation; and
- Safeguarding infant health and nutrition in times of adversity and weather-related disasters due to global warming.
Source: World Breastfeeding Week website.
June 20th is World Refugee Day
Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres states “Our duty to the people we serve is to work together to move from fear of each other to trust in each other. Diversity in all its forms is an asset, not a threat.”
So let us recall our common humanity on World Refugee Day, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to displaced people everywhere.
TOGETHER is a United Nations campaign that promotes respect safety and dignity for refugees and migrants. Its aim is to counter the rise in xenophobia, intolerance, racism and discrimination by :
- changing negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants, and
- strengthening the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants.
Refugees and displaced people are just like you and me
Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.
What would you do if conflict threatened your family? Stay and risk your lives or try to flee, and risk kidnap, rape or torture?
We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees – over half of whom are under the age of 18. Over a half of all global refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.
There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
It is heartbreaking to see borders being closed, people perishing in transit, and refugees and migrants alike being shunned, in violation of human rights and international law. The human cost is profound: millions of jobs lost, millions of children thrust out of school, and lives haunted by trauma and intolerance.
Definitions of displaced people and NZ’s response to refugees
There are several types of forcibly displaced persons.
- A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.
- Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.
- Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.
Migrants make the decision to move based on choice so are very different from refugees. They choose to move to better their circumstances such as to escape poverty and unemployment or to reunite with family members, and are often able to decide where they will migrate to.
New Zealand currently resettles up to 1,000 refugees every year, and we are only 1 of 26 countries that regularly accept refugees annually. Last year New Zealand welcomed refuges from 21 different countries as well as 600 Syrian refugees under the emergency refugee quota.
Sources: NZ Red Cross Refugee Services and United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Let’s start talking this Men’s Health Month
The theme for Men’s Health Month NZ is Men Start Talking.
When our mates seem down or in trouble, the easiest option is not to talk about it. We don’t know what to say, or think we might say the wrong thing.
Not talking kills hundreds of men every year, and stops a lot of men from being as healthy as they could be.
The Men’s Health Trust is encouraging men throughout New Zealand to start talking and to get along to the doctor for a check-up this June.
Start asking your mates how they are really doing. Don’t be worried about what they might say. You don’t need to offer advice, just listen, and if you’ve been through something similar, share your experiences. Giving someone the opportunity to talk about what’s on their mind can lift a weight off their shoulders.
Men’s Health Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of men’s health and share knowledge and inspirations to improve the health of men in New Zealand.
Source: Men’s Health Trust New Zealand website.