On February 23rd, 2014, Save the Children donated neonatal resource packs to 730 villages and township health centres in Yucheng District, Mingshan District, Lushan County and Baoxing County affected by an earthquake in Ya'an City, Sichuan Province. This is another move made by Save the Children together with partners in promoting maternal & child health in disaster areas, following the post-disaster support for maternal & child health and basic health care by Save the Children and Sichuan Provincial MCH Hospital in January 2014.
After an earthquake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale in Ya’an Prefecture, Sichuan Province on April 20th, 2013, Save the Children immediately carried out disaster relief activities and donated several batches of materials (including family health packages and health supplies) to children and their families in four counties/districts heavily hit by the earthquake, including Lushan, Baoxing, Tianquan and Yucheng. In July and September 2013, Save the Children held two training workshops on maternal & child health skills to more than 70 grassroots health workers, in order to enhance their knowledge and skills mix for preventing malnutrition and common diseases among infants and young children after disaster.
Natural disasters generally pose severe challenges on the feeding of infants and young children. Save the Children believes that the best feeding practice for infants and young children in disaster-hit areas is to provide mothers with adequate nutrition and encourage them to breastfeed. Moreover, the provision of necessary support to breastfeeding mothers by the general public and grassroots health workers after any disaster will better help mothers stick to breastfeeding.
We cooperated with Ya'an MCH Hospital in setting up 15 "breastfeeding rooms" in disaster-hit areas. We will provide professional training to 100 clinical workers engaged in maternal & child health care from county and township MCH institutions in all areas affected by the earthquake, and then select 15 representatives from them to promote breastfeeding locally as key trainers.
The 15 breastfeeding rooms will also be used to support grassroots health workers to disseminate knowledge about breastfeeding among the general public, particularly young mothers and parents/caregivers of young children, so as to raise public awareness of the important role of breastfeeding in promoting the growth of infants and protecting the life and health of infants and young children in emergencies.