Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department in collaboration with UNICEF here Tuesday organized the launching ceremony of global breast feeding month to create awareness and highlight benefits of breastfeeding. The event titled “Protecting Breast Feeding, A Shared Responsibility” also highlighted constraints faced by mothers in practicing optimal breast feeding. The purpose of the ceremony also included starting series of month-long provincial and district level activities including awareness walks, orientation sessions for healthcare workers, teachers, religious scholars and mothers besides engaging electronic and print media to spread objectives and key messages of the campaign. Chairman KP Assembly’s Standing Committee on Health, Rabia Basri attended the event as a Chief Guest. She stressed for a more integrated approach and consolidated efforts to create awareness among people regarding benefits of breast feeding. She suggested that local political leadership should also be invited to disseminate the message of campaign at grass root level. Director General Health Services KP, Dr. Niaz Muhammad said that ceremonies and events would be held in breastfeeding month at district level to create awareness and promote breast feeding. He said occurrence of various diseases in children like pneumonia, diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections can also be decreased by promoting breastfeeding. Speakers said that breast feeding reduces maternal and child morbidity and mortality and that breast-fed child have higher intelligence and greater immunity level. It was concurred that breastfeeding is one of the best investment in saving lives and a practice capable to improve health and social development of any individual. It is safe to continue breastfeeding even if a mother is suspected or confirmed positive to Covid. Women currently breastfeeding can receive Covid vaccine. Speakers said that inspiring progress has been made in KP to improve breast feeding that is 60 percent but a lot has to be done to achieve World Health Assembly target of 70 percent by 2030. Separetely, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan stressed that the media should play active role in creating massive awareness among the people, particularly mothers, about the importance of breastfeeding. “It is high time to convince mothers and families to avoid infant formula or cow milk for their babies”, he said in his message through a video link on PTV news channel. World breastfeeding week is being celebrated from August 1 to 7 to renew the commitment to create more supportive culture of breastfeeding to save the health and well being of children. He said national breastfeeding week is a best chance for women to refresh their knowledge about the health and safety protocols of breastfeeding to their infants.