RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus World Breastfeeding Week Celebration 2021
Sep 29 2021
The month of August allowed us to celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. As such, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) understood the significance of our role in bringing awareness to breastfeeding. RUMC’s Student Association (RUMCSA), in collaboration with RUMC’s Paediatrics Department, hoped to spread the World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action’s (WABA) mission to;
- Inform people about the importance of protecting breastfeeding.
- Anchor breastfeeding support as a vital public health responsibility.
- Engage with individuals and organisations for a better impact.
- Galvanise action on protecting breastfeeding to improve public health.
Under this initiative, we launched World Breastfeeding Week 2021 (WBW21), which spanned two weeks from the 26th of July to the 6th of August 2021. The first of two events was the Idea Presentation Competition that ran from the 26th of July to the 2nd of August 2021, which was opened to all RUMC students. The aim was to provide students an opportunity to share their ideas on how RUMC can aid in promotion and support of protecting breastfeeding. In line with the theme of “Protecting Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”, participants submitted their ideas of less than 300 words in a PowerPoint Presentation format which allowed for facile interpretation and judging.
The highlight of WBW21 was a series of events conducted on Friday, the 6th of August 2021. A Webinar by Associate Professor Dr. Foong Siew Cheng entitled “Protecting Breastfeeding: What Are We Doing and What You Can Do?” was attended by approximately forty RUMC students and staff. Dr. Foong is not only a lecturer at RUMC’s Paediatric Department but is also the founding president of Kangaroo Mother Care Advocates Malaysia (KAMY) – a national NGO that supports kangaroo mother care for low birth weight infants in Malaysia. She is also the breastfeeding advocate and is the Pro tem assistant secretary for the upcoming NGO, the Malaysian Association for Lactation and Breastfeeding Medicine (BfMed Malaysia).
Dr. Foong passionately educated us on practical ways to advocate for the importance of breastfeeding whilst sharing her numerous anecdotes. Following the webinar, our emcee, Kyndra Anabelle Maman, conducted the Prize-Giving Ceremony, where she introduced the details of the competition and its objectives. Mr. Thinagaran (WABA’s Representative) delivered a speech to convey his comments about the entries while Professor David Whitford (RUMC President, CEO, and Registrar) shared his experience on breastfeeding before announcing the prize winners. Amongst our entries, Miss Nur Amirah Shafiqah Binti Maharam, class of 2023, was chosen as the first-place winner. All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place winners received digital GrabFood gift cards. The event ended with a virtual group picture of the participants alongside both RUMCSA and RUMC’s Paediatric Department lecturers.
WBW21 was a success as we managed to spread WABA’s mission objectives alongside RUMC’s Pediatrics Department. Both the Idea Presentation Competition and Webinar by Associate Professor Dr. Foong Siew Cheng have allowed both students and staff to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation towards breastfeeding, where they can imagine a world in which it is noted as the norm.