New strategy in favor of breastfeeding, which strives to win adepts

The World Health Organization (WHO) today introduced a new strategy to promote breastfeeding in the world, a practice that, despite its proven benefits for both women and newborns, is far from being the preferred choice for women. mothers

Only 40% of babies up to six months receive breast milk exclusively, an even lower percentage in many high-income countries, where milk formula enjoys great popularity, recognized the organization’s specialist, Laurence Grummer-Strawn.

WHO, together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), presented a guide with ten concrete steps aimed at encouraging and supporting new mothers in their breastfeeding experience.

The guide includes the adoption by the maternal and child centers of a clear policy of support for breastfeeding, the training of health personnel, the accompaniment and advice to women in labor and the conditioning to avoid separation of the baby and the mother during the first hours and days of life.

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These series of recommendations are an update of the previous ones, which date back thirty years and have had a relative application.

One of the great novelties is that breastfeeding is now encouraged within the first hour after birth, even in the case of premature babies, low birth weight or some other type of complication, explained Grummer-Strawn in a wheel of the press

One of the cornerstones of WHO’s strategy to promote breastfeeding in recent decades has been the “children-friendly hospitals” initiative, where most of the steps included in the plan presented today are already applied.

However, Grummer-Strawn acknowledged that only 10% of maternal units are recognized as such, partly because it requires the implementation of voluntary measures and that they can be expensive, so now the goal is to universalize this concept.

One of the options considered by WHO is that the “friends of children” qualification be included in the certification process that hospitals and other health centers must comply with in order to function.

Breast milk is an important source of energy and nutrients for children beyond the first six months of life, in which the exclusive diet should be.

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Between six and twelve months of life contributes half of the needs in calories and a third between twelve and twenty-four months.

The WHO estimates that breastfeeding prevents the death each year of about 820,000 children under the age of five, since it limits the danger of infections, and in the long term also reduces the risk of obesity by 30% and the risk of suffering from diabetes by 35 %.

Although it is paradoxical, it is in high-income countries where there are “greater barriers” to breastfeeding, due among other factors to a medical staff with an “interventionist” mentality or because the newborn is removed from the mother to wash it.

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WHO, however, made it clear that its strategy is not about “forcing” a woman to choose to breastfeed if she prefers to give up or make her feel guilty for that choice, but rather that each mother has all the information right at your fingertips.

About the rejection in certain societies to the scene of a mother breastfeeding a child of two or more years, the WHO encourages women who so wish to continue breastfeeding after that age.

“You have to stop judging mothers in either way, either because they do not breastfeed or because they do it for a long time,” said Grummer-Strawn.

The expert also acknowledged the role of the advertising of formula milk in the stagnation of breastfeeding rates, through figures that show the economic importance of this product.

If in 2014 the sale of that milk generated revenues of 44,000 million dollars worldwide, by 2019 it will reach 70,000 million, according to forecasts.

Rescued 75 immigrants in El Estrecho and continues the search for seven disappeared

Maritime Rescue and Moroccan teams have rescued today 75 immigrants who traveled in five boats in the waters of the Strait, while the search continues for the seven missing from the shipwreck that occurred yesterday in the same area, after which four bodies were recovered.

At seven o’clock in the morning, Salvamento Marítimo initiated a wide-ranging device by receiving notices from several boats navigating the area.

The boat “Salvamar Arcturus” has located eight miles southwest of Tarifa (Cádiz) a boat in which 32 men, five women, and a baby were traveling, according to the device.

After rescuing them, he has transferred the 38 immigrants, all of the sub-Saharan origin, to the port of Tarifa.

In the port facilities, the social-health device of the Red Cross, the Public Health Emergencies Company, the Civil Guard and the National Police have been activated to assist immigrants.

Throughout the morning, according to sources of Maritime Rescue, 37 other immigrants who were trying to reach the Spanish coast in four boats have been rescued by Moroccan forces.

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On the other hand, the search continues for seven missing immigrants in the Strait on Sunday from a boat that left the Moroccan coast with twelve crew.

Maritime Rescue managed to rescue a single survivor, a young man of about 20 years old from Gambia who, very affected by the experience, reported that they had left the coast of Morocco around two in the morning and that, due to the strong wind and the bad sea, the occupants of the boat, a toy plastic boat, were falling into the sea little by little, as they have told EFE sources close to the operation of rescue and attention.

Together with the survivor, four bodies were recovered, while the rest of the people who were traveling in the boat are missing.

The search operation of these disappeared continues this afternoon in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Japan, the country that turns its back on refugees

A twenty-something Kurdish woman has been detained in Tokyo for three months. He arrived in the country 16 years ago with his family and his request for asylum was never approved, as the vast majority of the 20,000 people who sought refuge in Japan in 2017.

Despite being one of the most developed countries in the world, Japan has gained notoriety in recent years for its refusal to accept the arrival of refugees, a situation that local NGOs define as a “violation of human rights.”

“Japan has an express policy against refugees, I do not understand why we are so backward, what are they afraid of?” Complains the Tokyo lawyer Takeshi Ohashi, who is dedicated to assisting asylum seekers during a conference at the Foreign Press Club of Tokyo (FCCJ).

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Her work is to deal with cases such as those of Dursun, who was arrested after the local authorities refused to continue renewing her temporary residence visa, which pushed her into illegality and ended up in an immigration detention center, according to her complaint. mother.

“My daughter came to Japan when she was just six years old, she married a Kurdish asylum seeker eleven months later and was arrested for no reason,” explains Dursun’s mother, Hartje Toma, who defines the situation in the immigration centers as “inhuman.”

Requests for asylum in Japan have multiplied in recent years to reach 20,000 in 2017, while the number of applications approved has continued to fall and stood last year at only 20 (0.2 percent), According to data from the Japanese Ministry of Justice.

In 2012, of 2,545 people who requested asylum in Japan, 18 received it – 0.8 percent – a percentage that has fallen in the following years to 0.3 and 0.2 percent, which translates to in 110 refugee status granted in a period of six years, details the same source.

For Japanese organizations in favor of refugees, what is really serious is the “arbitrariness with which arrests occur” and also the fact that many of these people start a new life in the Asian country without knowing when they will be expelled.

“The law in Japan allows immigration authorities to detain foreign residents who are under a deportation order, which does not establish is for how long,” denounces the organization tokiota Friends of the Detained Immigrants (SYI).

Families separated by indefinite detention and “inhuman” sanitary conditions are some of the situations that they accuse the Japanese Government. This, and the passivity of Japanese society, according to an SYI report.

For the volunteer Sayaka Iwakawa, what is really serious is the circumstance in which the children of those refugees face that, before the arrest of one of their parents, they must start working at an early age and in an irregular manner, and in the case of staying in school, they suffer bullying from their classmates.

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“Children have to work with only 10 or 11 years to help their families and in the case of girls, most end up getting married very young,” Iwakawa told Efe, who works with immigrants and refugees in peripheral areas of Tokyo. as Kawaguchi or Warabi, the latter known as “Warabistan”.

These two neighborhoods located in Saitama (north of Tokyo) host many immigrants, including some 2,000 people of Kurdish origin, who after fleeing from Turkey, Syria and Iraq, went to Japan to seek asylum, none of them successfully.

For Ohashi, this is because Japan does not want to risk its good relations with Turkey by granting refugee status to any person of Kurdish origin, a situation that has even starred in the documentary “Backdrop Kurdistan” by the Japanese Masaru Nomoto.

Unable to endure indefinite detention, some of the refugees end up giving in and accepting deportation under their own means. During 2016, according to the Japanese Ministry of Justice, 6,575 immigrants accepted to pay for their return to their country of origin, 93.7% of the total.

“It is a humiliation for her to be locked up and this causes her panic attacks, sometimes she even spits blood,” says Toma about the situation of her daughter, who has been in the immigration center of Shinagawa (south of Tokyo) for three months.

Organizations in favor of refugees in Tokyo estimate that half of the detainees in this type of facility are in fact asylum seekers who do not have any legal status, figures that they expect to increase in the future.

Immigrant children have more academic and social difficulties than natives

Migrant students or those with a migratory background have more difficulties in achieving a good academic and welfare level than natives, according to the latest OECD report presented today in Brussels.

The managing director of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Mexican Gabriela Ramos, was commissioned to present the “first report” in which the adaptation of immigrant students or descendants of immigrants to their place is analyzed of destination based on the Pisa 2015 report.

“A way to integrate immigrants in a satisfactory way is through the schools,” said Ramos, who considers “absolutely crucial” the importance of educational systems in adapting these immigrants.

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The Managing Director of the OECD recalled some examples that have already been launched, such as the World Relief Chicago project, which promotes the interests of refugee and immigrant families in the US city, or the intercultural seal awarded since 2012 in Portugal. the schools that promote integration.

“But much more can still be done,” Ramos insisted, adding that “it is not just a question of helping immigrants, but also educating the native population (…), that children understand the richness of living together to other children from different backgrounds. ”

Migration flows are changing the composition in the classrooms: almost one out of every four students of 15 years in OECD countries is foreign or has at least one parent born abroad.

The low academic performance is a common feature for most students with a migratory background: while 3 out of 4 native students in the OECD countries and the European Union in 2015 reached a basic level of competences in the three main subjects of PISA – reading, mathematics, and science – only 6 out of 10 with migratory backgrounds got it.

A difference that is widened in the case of first-generation immigrants (foreign-born students of parents born abroad), of which 49% reached the basic levels of academic competence in the OECD (50% in the EU ), compared to 72% of natives (71% in the EU).

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In Spain, the levels were 52% among first-generation immigrants compared to 75% among native students.

In addition to the academic response, the report focuses on the degree of ability to adapt socially and notes that 41% of first-generation immigrants show a weak sense of belonging, compared to 33% of students without any migratory background.

Spain is one of the countries with the highest feeling of belonging to their school by first-generation immigrants (71%), although there is a considerable difference compared to their native peers (85%).

The report also analyzes the degree of satisfaction with life as a measure of the degree of “subjective” well-being of students.

According to the PISA 2015 data collected by the OECD, 31% of the first generation immigrant students declared to be dissatisfied with their life, a figure that in the case of the natives was reduced to 28%.

The largest differences in satisfaction between native adolescents and first-generation immigrants are found in Lithuania (25%), Chile (12%), Spain (11%) and France (11%).

On the other hand, Mexico (84%) and Holland (86%) stand out as countries with students (natives and immigrants) more satisfied, while in Hong Kong the average satisfaction level of both is 55%.

According to the report, one of the sources of stress most cited by adolescents is anxiety related to homework and school exams, as well as pressure and concern about grades.

In this sense, of the native students of the OECD countries, 61% showed levels of anxiety related to school work, 6 percentage points less than their immigrant peers.

The study points out that, in many cases, people with less talent but with greater motivation to achieve their goals are more likely to succeed than those who have talent but are not able to set goals.

In this case, the percentage of first-generation immigrants who claimed to want to be the best in what they do (71%) was greater than that of natives (64%).

A week without news of Gabriel Cruz, the missing boy in Níjar

A week after his disappearance, Gabriel Cruz, the 8-year-old boy whose trace was lost last Tuesday in Las Hortichuelas, in Níjar (Almería), when he left his paternal grandmother’s house to go play with cousins, still does not appear…

After hundreds of hours of beatings in the environment and despite thousands of people have tracked Las Hortichuelas and other nearby locations such as Las Negras or Rodalquilar, the search still has not yielded results, and the only clue available is a shirt found by the father and your partner in the vicinity of a water treatment plant.

The shirt contains the minor’s DNA and is being analyzed to try to extract from it all the possible information to clarify what happened seven days ago in Las Hortichuelas.

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The delegate of the Government in Andalusia, Antonio Sanz, has been confident that this pledge provides more information in the search investigation and has indicated that the researchers are “pending the shirt, through other tests slower.”

He stressed that research is “active, with different lines, we do not focus on one, in fact, new lines are opened in order to monopolize the most complete for the common goal of achieving a positive result.”

Sanz and the Minister of the Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido, who will visit the area tomorrow, will meet with commanders of the Security Forces and Corps to analyze the latest data of the search, before the head of the Ministry present in the Sub-delegation of the Government of Almería the “Report of Persons Disappeared in Spain of the year 2017”.

The batidas have continued one more day and, as usual, at eight o’clock in the morning, they have begun the searches of the search device, which today has had 50 volunteers and 150 professionals.

The spokesman of the Commandery of Almeria, David Domínguez, has assured that the Civil Guard does not have “foreseen to diminish means for the search”, reason why it keeps in the place the Squadron of Cavalry, the Cynological Service, the Maritime Service, the GEAS, and Citizen Security patrols, among others.

Other professionals have also participated, such as the Local Police of different municipalities, Bomberos de Almería, Granada and Murcia, all of them coordinated by the command center of 112 in Andalusia, which also has three drones at your service.

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Tracking is maintained on the coastline and batches in a “hot zone” with a diameter of 6 kilometers, with “selective” searches in “wells, caves, abandoned farmhouses and areas where nobody usually passes” until the 12 kilometers. ”

In addition, the delegate of the Government of the Junta de Andalucía, Gracia Fernández, has indicated that a team of psychologists has been placed at the “request of the family”.

For its part, the Coordination Board of Jusapol (Police Salary Justice) in Almeria has decided to postpone a demonstration, called on March 9, to claim the salary kit of Civil Guard and National Police with other autonomous police bodies, in support of the parents of the minor.

The family of Gabriel Cruz has announced today, in addition, the call for a rally that will take place at noon next Friday in the Almeria capital.

Baby Jorry

This handsome young man is Jorry Rosier. Jorry was born with Down Syndrome. Over 60% of children with Down Syndrome are born with some type of heart defect and Jorry is one of those unfortunate babies. If he was here in the United States, he would have surgery for his Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). In the US, we no longer deny children born with Down Syndrome the right to have life-saving surgeries. That was not the case at one time, not all that long ago. In Haiti, there is no one to do this surgery for him through his parents have tried all avenues. Unfortunately, we’ve learned from past experiences, it seems that some doctors here in the US (who would certainly not deny an American child with Down Syndrome the opportunity to have his heart fixed) will actually refuse to do the same surgery for a child with DS from another country like Haiti. I am not sure why that type of logic still exists. and as a mother of a son with Down Syndrome (who needed heart surgery shortly after we adopted him from Venezuela as an infant 13 years ago), I find I am very unsettled and saddened by this situation.

Jorry deserves the opportunity for a long life, just as all children in the world deserve the best we can give them. We are told that all that God creates is good and that God never makes mistakes. I believe that with my whole heart and each time I look at my son, Gabriel, I see his perfection in new and enchanting ways. Gabe reminds me that our measure of perfection is not God’s. I’ve learned that the way the world defines success is most definitely not the same as God has intended for his children. Each day, God’s love and joy shine through those mischevious eyes and that glorious smile on my Gabe’s face. No child of God should be discriminated against due to a condition like Down Syndrome. I am praying fervently that someone can help find a doctor who would be willing to do the surgery for his little man. His parents are committed and have already gotten a passport for him. Can anyone out there help them?

Dieuna is Out of Hosptial at Last

These sweet little girls are standing watch over little Dieuna who is finally out of the hospital. Dieuna came to the states in May and had her surgery for her hydrocephaly, but has really struggled with complications. A brain infection, skin sores on her large head and many feeding issues have kept her at DuPont Hospital for weeks. We are so thankful to her host family for bravely standing by her as she fought her way through the challenges. Her host mom says she is definitely a fighter and the folks at the hospital have been so supportive. Dieuna is still being fed by NG tube, but Robyn (her host mom) is hoping to try some thickened formula by mouth this week. This little one can use as much prayer as we can send her way as she is not having much voluntary movement in her limbs. Her head was very large prior to surgery and though the surgery was successful at creating an outlet for the fluid, we fear that she may have been compromised in some ways having lived with the extra pressure for so long. We will keep you updated on her progress.

Brenda’s Homecoming

Hi Everyone,

I don’t know about at your house, but here at mine, summer is always a bit crazy. Trying to entertain and keep four boys from destroying themselves, each other or the house is almost a full-time job. This is all my way of explaining my absence for the last few weeks! While the house is somewhat quiet, I wanted to take a moment and pass along some photos of Brenda’s homecoming.
I had mentioned earlier that she traveled well and her mom was thrilled to have her home. She is doing well and I was most impressed with the fancy stroller she is sitting in in all the photos.
Pharah returned home last month as well and we will have two other returning to Haiti this month. Right now, three little ones are scheduled to come in the next month or so for surgery. Two to the Philly area and one here in Virginia. There are still many children waiting for surgery in Haiti and we are looking frantically for docs.
Hope your summer is going well!

Host Family Needed in Philly Area!

We are looking for a host family for this sweet little guy. His name is Jean-Withson Charles (Jon). He is just a little over 1 year old and is a real charmer. He smiles and loves attention. We feel he will do very well with the surgery for his hydrocephaly. He has a mother, father, and grandparents who love him very much. They all have come to Port-au-Prince to help him get the care he needs. It is hard to tell by the photos that were sent, but Vanessa has met him and says that he really is interactive and very alert. We want to take care of the extra fluid in his head before he comes more compromised and the possibility of a good outcome diminishes.

Jon will have his surgery at DuPont Children’s Hospital where most of the other children in our hydrocephaly project have received their care. If you feel you can give this handsome little man love and attention for the next three-five months, please let us know ASAP. If you know of anyone else in the Philly area that would be a good host family, please pass the word. We are applying for his visa in the next few weeks and need to line up a host family before he can travel to the US.

Thanks for the help!


Well, I think things are starting to get moving again. We have two children returning to Haiti this week. Nakeyshia is returning after successful heart surgery. I will try and get photos of her soon. Also, Juline (who charmed every single person she has met since arriving only a few short months ago) will be heading home as well. Juline did incredibly well with her surgery for hydrocephaly and we are so happy that her parents will get to see her smiling face within the next week!

A special thanks to my wonderful partner in all of this…VANESSA! While I was sunning myself at Myrtle Beach this last week, she was driving up to PA to retrieve these little ones so that she can take them to Haiti with her. I haven’t been to Haiti in a long time as Chedner’s medical issues are keeping me hopping, but I do want to get down there again soon. Until I do go, I remain extremely appreciative that Vanessa is handling that load all by herself…

We have two little boys heading this way for surgery for hydrocephaly. Jon and Chris will be coming back with Vanessa and her son Omri when they return in a few weeks. There are two other children we hope to have surgery arranged for within the next month as well.

My AMH email is not working. Neither is Vanessa’s. So until we get it fixed, please email me at my home email which is [email protected] and Vanessa at [email protected]

Many thanks to all!