Breastfeeding and work

A day with health worker Elsebeth Aklilu

UNICEF
· 2 min read

Breastfeeding is one of the most cost-effective ways to boost children’s health. World Breastfeeding Week 2015 aims to empower women to combine work with breastfeeding and raising their children.


© UNICEF/NYHQ2014–3655/Nesbitt

(Left) Elsebeth Aklilu weighs a child at a local health post. A government-paid health worker, Ms. Aklilu serves her own community — a village called Maderia, in Oromia Region, Ethiopia — by educating women on ways to keep themselves and their children healthy.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014–3660/Nesbitt

Reversing the multidimensional causes of malnutrition — such as a lack of proper nutrition, breastfeeding, or family planning practices — is a large component of her work.

“I want to see the changes. That’s what keeps me in this job,” she says.

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Ms. Aklilu counsels Kedo Abdula, whose family planning helps her stay healthy while caring for and breastfeeding her 21-month-old daughter.

“My mother didn’t plan her children,” she says, “and I can see the differences between my childhood and my daughter’s.”

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014–3659/Nesbitt

Ms. Aklilu references a family health card while counselling a woman. The cards chart the health of a family’s children and also contain educational information about best health practices for children, including breastfeeding, as well as for the entire family.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014–3654/Nesbitt

In addition to her tireless dedication to the children and women in her community, Ms. Aklilu makes time to use her knowledge to improve her own family’s health. Taking a break from work, she breastfeeds her 10-month-old son, Fikir Mekete.


Read more about UNICEF’s work on breastfeeding.

Photography and social change

UNICEF photography advocates for children through visual evidence and storytelling in support of their rights. UNICEF saves children's lives, defends their rights, and helps them fulfill their potential. We never give up. UNICEF, for every child.

UNICEF

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UNICEF

UNICEF saves children’s lives, defends their rights, and helps them fulfill their potential. We never give up. UNICEF, for every child.

Photography and social change

UNICEF photography advocates for children through visual evidence and storytelling in support of their rights. UNICEF saves children's lives, defends their rights, and helps them fulfill their potential. We never give up. UNICEF, for every child.