Sri Lanka had been ranked among the 23 countries that have achieved exclusive breastfeeding rates, a scorecard released by the World Health Organization and the UNICEF at the start of the World Breastfeeding Week said.
The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to 7 to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
The 23 countries that have achieved exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent are: Bolivia, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Micronesia, Federated States of Nauru, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, São Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia.
According to the Scorecard, which evaluate 194 nations, found that only 40 per cent of children younger than six months are breastfed exclusively (given nothing but breast milk) and only 23 countries have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent.
The scorecard was released at the start of World Breastfeeding Week alongside a new analysis demonstrating that an annual investment of only US$4.70 per newborn is required to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding among children under six months, to 50 per cent by 2025.
The scorecard compiles data from countries all over the world on the status of seven priorities set by the Global Breastfeeding Collective to increase the rate of breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is a vital part of providing every child with the healthiest start to life. It is a baby’s first vaccine and the best source of nutrition. It can bolster brain development. It can save 520,000 children’s lives in the next 10 years,” the scorecard said.