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Salma Hayek Travels to Sierra Leone: Talks About Tetanus Vaccinations and Breastfeeding

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In an ABC Nightline story about tetanus in Sierra Leone, actress Salma Hayek talks about the importance of breastfeeding and even cross nurses a baby. Hayek is working with the company that makes Pampers to promote tetanus vaccinations.
Watch the video here. (You’ll see Hayek nursing, and talking about breastfeeding, about half way through the footage. But a warning: before you get to that point there is footage of a dying baby). Here’s an extended quote from the ABC story:

To most people in the United States, tetanus brings to mind rusty nails and a quick trip to the doctor’s office for a shot. But in developing countries like Sierra Leone, maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a top cause of death among mothers and their babies…
Sierra Leone has the highest infant and child death rate in the world. One in five children die before reaching their fifth birthday and tetanus is a big contributor — 21 percent of all infant deaths are related to tetanus.
Tetanus deaths are preventable with routine vaccinations. UNICEF has launched an initiative to eradicate the disease worldwide by 2012. In Sierra Leone the cost of immunizing one person is about 74 cents.
Once a woman is immunized, her children will be protected from the disease at birth, before needing immunizations of their own.
In 2008, Hayek became a spokeswoman for the Pampers “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign to support UNICEF’s efforts to eliminate tetanus. For each pack of specially marked Pampers diapers sold, parent company Proctor and Gamble donates the cost of one tetanus vaccine to UNICEF. The North American campaign has generated funding for more than 45 million vaccines since the beginning of 2008.

And here’s a quote about breastfeeding:

Hayek’s daughter, Valentina, turned 1 before the trip and the actress spoke about the importance of breast-feeding, especially in underdeveloped countries such as Sierra Leone. In fact doctors there say that because malnutrition is so rampant they would like to see women in Sierra Leone breast-feed for two years. But such behavior is rare. The reason? Men urge their wives to quickly stop breast-feeding because of cultural mores that forbid sexual intercourse with breast-feeding women.
“It is the best thing you can do for your child, not only the bonding, that’s how you build the immune system, so in a country like Africa imagine how important it is for the mothers do that,” she said. “But here, there is the belief that if you are breast-feeding you cannot have a sexual life so the husbands, of course, of these women are really encouraging them to stop and this is just a taboo.”