The Forty-first World Health Assembly,

Having considered the report by the Director-General on infant and young child nutrition;

Recalling resolutions WHA33.32, WHA34.22 and WHA39.28 on infant and young child feeding and nutrition, and resolutions WHA37.18 and WHA39.31 on the prevention and control of vitamin A deficiency and xerophthalmia, and of iodine deficiency disorders;

Concerned at continuing decreasing breastfeeding trends in many countries, and committed to the identification and elimination of obstacles to breastfeeding;

Aware that appropriate infant and young child nutrition could benefit from further broad national, community and family interventions;

1. COMMENDS governments, women's organizations, professional associations, consumer and other nongovernmental groups, and the food industry for their efforts to promote appropriate infant and young child nutrition, and encourages them, in cooperation with WHO, to support national efforts for coordinated nutrition programmes and practical action at country level to improve the health and nutrition of women and children;

2. URGES Member States:

(1) to develop or enhance national nutrition programmes, including multisectoral approaches, with the objective of improving the health and nutritional status of their populations, especially that of infants and young children;

(2) to ensure practices and procedures that are consistent with the aim and principles of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, if they have not already done so;

3. REQUESTS the Director-General to continue to collaborate with Member States, through WHO regional offices and in collaboration with other agencies of the United Nations system, especially FAO and UNICEF:

(1) in identifying and assessing the main nutrient and dietary problems, developing national strategies to deal with them, applying these strategies, and monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness;

(2) in establishing effective nutritional status surveillance systems in order to ensure that all the main variables which collectively determine nutritional status are properly addressed;

(3) in compiling, analysing, managing and applying information that they have gathered on the nutritional status of their populations;

(4) in monitoring, together with other maternal and child health indicators, changes in the prevalence and duration of full and supplemented breastfeeding with a view to improving breastfeeding rates;

(5) in developing recommendations regarding diet, including timely complementary feeding and appropriate weaning practices, which are appropriate to national circumstances;

(6) in providing legal and technical assistance, upon request from Member States, in the drafting and/or the implementation of national codes of marketing of breastmilk substitutes, or other similar instruments;

(7) in designing and implementing collaborative studies to assess the impact of measures taken to promote breastfeeding and child nutrition in Member States.

May 1988

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