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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Human Lactation
Title People's initiative to counteract misinformation and marketing practices: the Pembo, Philippines, breastfeeding experience, 2006
Volume 25
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 341-349
URL http://jhl.sagepub.com/content/25/3/341.short
The Philippines is among 42 countries accounting for 90% of under 5-year-old deaths. Only 16% of 4 to 5 month old Filipinos exclusively breastfeed. In 2006, almost $100 million was spent advertising formula in the Philippines. To counter widespread misinformation and improve breastfeeding a peer counseling intervention was developed to target mothers with infants less than 2 months of age who were not exclusively breastfeeding or had difficulty breastfeeding. Participants received 3 peer counseling visits. At baseline and 3 weeks later, 24-hour food recalls for infants were collected. The number of exclusively formula-fed infants decreased seven-fold (P < .001). Mixed-fed infants decreased 37% (P < .001). Overall, of the 148 nonexclusively breastfeeding infants, 69.5% had changed feeding methods after 3 home visits, 76% of whom to exclusive breastfeeding. Community-based peer counseling was associated with a drastic improvement of exclusive breastfeeding practices. This intervention evolved and became sustainable by engaging political figures, cities, and communities throughout the process. In 2 years, the Department of Health, World Health Organization (WHO) program has scaled up to improve health service delivery for 161 612 persons in depressed urban communities in the Philippines. J Hum Lact. 25(3):341-349.

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