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“Initial gut bacteria colonisation is an important factor in the development of a newborn infant’s healthy immune system. This colonisation is favourably influenced by the presence of breast milk, yet the specific mechanisms and metabolomics remain under-researched, and require further investigation. The project has a broad range of objectives. The research team intends to identify the differences in intestinal colonisation of bacteria between infants fed mother’s milk versus formula, to elucidate the influence of specific health-promoting intestinal bacterial species on fundamental neonatal metabolic and immune functions, and to determine anti-inflammatory effects and their cellular pathways using foetal intestinal cells.”
W. Allan Walker
“We are pleased to partner with Professor Walker to support broader understanding of the important role breast milk plays in infant immunity – a vital building block to a child’s health.”
Göran Larsson
“We are very pleased that the University of Oxford, one of the world’s leading universities, is partnering with us to establish a centre dedicated to this important topic. Our collaboration has the chance to contribute substantially to a better understanding of this aspect of lactation, and in turn, help improve the health of mothers and children around the globe.”
Göran Larsson, Chair of FLRF Board
“Acute malnutrition is one of the main reasons infants die during violent conflicts and when families are displaced for long periods of time. Interrupted breastfeeding is one of the main causes of this malnutrition. Many women stop breastfeeding when they are forced to flee their homes, while influxes of donated formula also discourage breastfeeding.”
Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta
“We hope this research will contribute to new international standards that help UN agencies and NGOs provide the best possible support to breastfeeding mothers who are living through violent conflict and displacement.
FLRF Chairman Göran Larsson
“We must help ensure that even children who start their lives in the worst possible circumstances get the best possible start through the benefits of breastfeeding.
FLRF Managing Director Katharina Lichtner
“Just prior to a caesarean section, we would induce mild labour. This would cause no pain or distress to the mother or baby, but still trigger the release of important hormones, which are beneficial for mother and child”.
Prof. Dr. med. Sven Wellmann, Vice-Chair Neonatology at UKBB.
“The study is of interest to FLRF for several reasons: It aims to scientifically confirm initial observations, its findings can be implemented globally, and hence, it has the ability to positively affect breastfeeding rates worldwide”.
Göran Larsson, Chairman of FLRF Board
”The UKBB and USZ study offers a great opportunity for quickly integrating research findings and improving everyday medical practice. This aligns precisely with our strategy of financing research that bridges the gap from basic research to practical implementation, leading to improved treatment protocols that decision-makers and health professionals can promote. This way we can create sustainable benefits for mothers and their children“.
Dr. Katharina Lichtner, Managing Director of FLRF
“Because breastfeeding is so crucial for maximizing the health and development of mothers and children, the BBF programme is designed to lead to significant healthcare cost savings for countries that implement it.”
Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
“Seeing countries from such diverse regions committing to the BBF programme is testament to the quality of the programme and YSPH’s work.”
Dr. Katharina Lichtner, Managing Director of FLRF
“This is indeed a very complex task and we are extremely pleased that Professor Pérez-Escamilla and his YSPH team are meeting the challenge.”
Göran Larsson, Chairman of the FLRF’s Board

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