Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

FILE - Some 170 mothers breastfeed their children during a mass breastfeeding event inside a military headquarters in Taguig City, metro Manila, August 2, 2014. VOA

Leading U.N. agencies are urging governments to adopt family-friendly policies to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies at home and at work. The World Health Organization and U.N. Children’s Fund say breastfed babies have the best chance of enjoying a healthy, productive life.

Health experts agree both mothers and babies reap tremendous benefits from breastfeeding. They say nursing mothers run lower risks of getting ovarian cancer, breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

For babies, there are both short-term and long-term benefits. They say mother’s milk supports healthy brain development in babies and boosts their immune systems so they can better fight off infections.

A U.N. survey finds wealthier countries have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, with fewer than 25 percent of babies being exclusively breastfed. This compares with Rwanda where nearly 90 percent of babies are breastfed and other countries such as Burundi and Sri Lanka, which have high rates of well over 80 percent.

Leading U.N. agencies are urging governments to adopt family-friendly policies to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies at home and at work. Pixabay

The technical officer in WHO’s nutrition department, Laurence Grummer-Strawn, tells VOA children in the richer countries would enjoy long-term benefits from breastfeeding.

“Babies who are breast fed are actually less likely to become obese when they are older children,” said Grummer-Strawn. “They have lower risks of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. They have lower risk of leukemia…And, in low income countries, it reduces risks of respiratory infections and diarrhea that are some of the big killers of children.”

WHO reports increasing breastfeeding could prevent 823,000 deaths in children under five every year and 20,000 annual deaths from breast cancer. Additionally, Grummer-Strawn says a World Bank analysis finds investing in increasing breastfeeding would produce huge returns.

“They estimated for every dollar that is spent to promote, protect and support breastfeeding, $35 would be saved in economic gains around the world,” said Grummer-Strawn. “The overall estimate is that on an annual basis, we lose $302 billion in global productivity because of the lack of breastfeeding.”

Also Read- Top 5 Features of Firestick

WHO and UNICEF are calling on governments to support breastfeeding by enacting paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks; as well as paid paternity leave to encourage shared caring of children on an equal basis.
They say employers should support nursing mothers returning to work by providing them with a private, hygienic space for breastfeeding and expressing and storing milk. (VOA)



Bangladesh over the years show that the state has failed in its duty to protect minorities

By- Salil Gewali

If humanity is hurt, God is hurt.

Religion without compassion might give way to hatred. Compassion with a "self-interest" motive is completely irreligious. But of late, some of the religions have departed from those basic human values. Love and compassion are for only those who follow their "specific" faith. Very sadly, the religions are up as trading commodities in the world of proselytization. Better preachers attract more followers. Of course, no issue if they are not vying for their religious "supremacy". But the ground reality is utterly different. The claim for exclusive supremacy has become the first commandment --- a real bone of contention among the existing religions. In the name of religion, we have polluted our minds. we have corrupted our souls. We have also gone so much astray that God must have now shut his gateway to heaven!

Keep Reading Show less

The Aruba villa has great interiors, an outdoor facility, amazing bedrooms, clean bathrooms and huge living space.

By- Your Service

Taking out time for family has become very difficult as people are pretty busy in daily life and find very little time to spend with their loved ones. Planning a family vacation is an excellent way through which the whole family can step away from their daily life and have fun. You can find many destinations for a family vacation, but there is no place that can beat Aruba.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Flickr

Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)

Keep reading... Show less