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Infant Feeding in Bosnia

Infant Feeding in Bosnia

Dear Editors,

The comments in the letter to the editors (Field Exchange, issue 2) on the article "Infant Feeding in Emergencies: Experience from Former Yugoslavia" saddened me a little. The article was in no way intended as a criticism of the excellent work done by international and local organisations and individuals during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia - indeed it was an opportunity to bring about beneficial change in a time of crisis. The point of the article was, however, that many field workers who were working with mothers, children, health workers and all of those having to live through the hardships of war on a daily basis, felt at a loss to know how to deal with the immediate problems of infant feeding . It was not possible to have a team of breastfeeding counsellors to work with new mothers in every location, and training and convincing of health workers about breastfeeding can take a very long time to filter to local level. Because of this there was apparently a need for breastmilk substitute during the early stages of the war when it was impossible to change beliefs and practices.

The letter notes "mass distribution of infant formula stopped in January 1995", but the Yugoslav conflict started in late 1991 and Bosnia was in the full throes of war by April 1992. My article was about infant feeding during the emergency, and was not about reversing infant feeding trends over a longer period of time.

Yours etc.,
Anne Walsh, Children's Aid Direct

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Reference this page

Anne Walsh (1998). Infant Feeding in Bosnia. Field Exchange 3, January 1998. p19. www.ennonline.net/fex/3/infant