The First Lady of Colombia visits the Fundación Baylor Colombia Health Center to Help Promote the Benefits of Breast Milk


Last August was National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and Texas Children’s Global Health Network, the Global Health arm of Texas Children’s Hospital, is shining a light on its implementing partner, Fundación Baylor Colombia, for promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and sharing available educational programs and resources among local ethnic communities in Colombia.

On August 3, 2023, during World Breastfeeding Week, Fundación Éxito in alliance with Fundación Baylor Colombia and Salutia, held a social mobilization event, featuring a Knowledge Dialogue on breast feeding with a guest panel of invited attendees at the comprehensive health center of Fundación Baylor Colombia. Knowledge Dialogues, or intercultural dialogues, are a method of communication and exchange between groups of people or communities with the aim to improve access to health services and build intercultural trust and health outcomes. In Colombia, this is an important route for community education among indigenous groups.

The First Lady of Colombia, Mrs. Verónica Alcocer, participated in a knowledge dialogue with the lactating and pregnant families of the Wayuu community, with the presence of 300 Wayuu indigenous people, in the company of president of Grupo Éxito and executive directors of Fundación Baylor Colombia, Fundacion Internal Action, Fundación Salutia Foundation, National Institute of Welfare and Rojas Director of Promotion and Prevention services from the Ministry of Health. The Wayuu people are an indigenous group that inhabits the Guajira Peninsula, which straddles the Venezuela-Colombia border.

The key purpose of this social mobilization event was three-fold:

  • To promote breast milk and exclusive breastfeeding up to six months as the best food for babies in the first year of life, protecting them against malnutrition

  • To present a water machine, donated by Fundacion Exito, to the indigenous community of Jieyusirra as a complement to the exclusive breastfeeding event to be integrated into their home garden project, led by Foundation Baylor Colombia

  • To promote the goal of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, as established by the World health Organization.

Fundación Baylor Colombia uses a comprehensive and differential approach to primary healthcare, which they have implemented for the last 10 years. This event and site tour highlighted the various approaches to health offered by Fundación Baylor Colombia to indigenous groups like the Wayuu, including Piaches (Traditional healers), the first ethnocultural breastfeeding room, donated by Save the Children, and collaborative projects on the social causes of health like the Alimercambio project, exchange of recyclable waste for food, and the artisan bakery project.