World Breastfeeding Week: Kyrgyzstan are on a mission to protect breastfeeding

Advocacy, Maternal Health, Asia

In 2019, the Ministry of Health in Kyrgyzstan created a working group to revise the Law “On the Protection of Breastfeeding”, the working group included representatives of CSA SUN Kyrgyzstan, who contributed to the development of proposals for the draft of the Law. In the same year, UNICEF arranged a visit from David Clark, a specialist in legal support of nutrition programs at UNICEF headquarters. He conducted a training on the monitoring of the law for representatives of the National Center for Maternal and Child Health, specialists of the Ministry of Health, and took part in a round table to discuss the draft Law “On amendments to the Law on the Breastfeeding Protection…”.  

CSA SUN Kyrgyzstan helped organize a meeting between UNICEF, David Clark and the Forum of Women MPs, where David Clark made a presentation on the importance of updating the Law in line with the new World Health Assembly resolutions. At this meeting, women MPs reaffirmed their commitment to protecting breastfeeding and pledged to initiate this Law. 

In 2020, CSA SUN Kyrgyzstan carried out advocacy work to draw attention to the protection of breastfeeding, which was based on the data obtained during the monitoring of the implementation of the Law “On protection of breastfeeding …” The monitoring results were sent to the ministries, to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, to 120 members of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. 

With the support of UNICEF, 200 leaflets were developed and replicated (for PMs and for decision-makers from authorized bodies). A telecast on the NTS TV channel was conducted on the mechanisms of responding to violations of the Law “On the Breastfeeding Protection ” and on the need to amend the Law. A radio program on “Birinchi Radio” was held about the importance of the Law “On the Breastfeeding Protection…” with the participation of the member of the Parliament Ainuru Altybaeva. Organized publication in “Cactus Media” about violations of the Law and the need to amend this Law. On the TV channel “Ala-too 24” a conversation was held about the weak points of the Law and the need to make changes. The Public Fund “For Food Security and Nutrition” constantly publishes information on the importance of breastfeeding. 

Unfortunately, during the October and subsequent events related to the parliamentary and presidential elections, the reorganization of the Government, amendments to the Constitution, the issue of amendments to the Law was suspended. The documents were lost during unrests and attack on the Parliament building.  

After the restoration of all documents, on April 30, 2021, a group of women deputies announced the initiation of the Law on Amendments to the Law “On the Protection of Breastfeeding …” Kyrgyzstan CSA have since contacted the deputies involves – the initiators of the Law on the Protection of Breastfeeding. So far there are no changes, however the process of preparing all supporting documents is underway.