ISLAMABAD - To sensitise the healthcare professionals to play their effective role in promoting and protecting breast-feeding practice, The Network for Consumer Protection organised a seminar here on Wednesday. From August 1-7, more than 150 countries worldwide are celebrating World Breast-feeding Week (WBW) for the 18th year. The theme of World Breast-feeding Week for this year is Breast-feeding - a vital emergency response. Are you ready? It highlights the need to protect, promote and support breast-feeding in emergencies for infant and young child survival, health and development. Dr Sadia Assad, Programme Coordinator, TheNetwork for Consumer Protection, while highlighting the objectives of the meeting, said the role of healthcare professionals is very important as they are the bridging link between the government and the general public. They are the main implementers of the Breast-feeding ordinance in the healthcare facilities and act as effective monitors for the promotion and protection of Breast-feeding practices. Executive Director, PIMS, Prof. Mahmood Jamal, chief guest of the meeting, said that the indicators show that the rates of almost every healthcare issues including breast-feeding are coming down. This is the responsibility of professionals to show our commitment to address this serious issue. How can we guide anyone else in society, till we will not improve our practices? We should be committed and set ourselves as role models for other to address this sensitive issue. The World Breast-feeding Week is a good opportunity to examine the status of the breast-feeding in Pakistan said Dr Tabish Hazir, Prof. Pediatrics, PIMS, while speaking on the occasion. He said all IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding Strategy) indicators in Pakistan are undesirably low and need to be improved. There is a need of an integrated approach to IYCF communication from pregnancy to early infancy. Dr Shahid Awan, neutrition Officer, UNICEF, highlighted the Importance of BF and Emergency Response. He said that children are among the most vulnerable groups during emergencies, and infants are the most vulnerable of all, due to increased risk of death caused by diarrhoea and pneumonia. During emergencies, uncontrolled donations of breast-milk substitutes may undermine breast-feeding and should be avoided.