Breastfeeding campaign gains momentum

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

In a bid to raise more awareness on the positive impact of exclusive breastfeeding of babies and nursing mothers, the National Nutrition Agency (NaNa), in collaboration with the Department of State for Health and Social welfare, last Friday organised a one day sensitisation workshop for breastfeeding mothers, held at the Bakau Health Centre.

The programme which brought together over one hundred nursing mothers and pregnant women was sponsored by the United Nation Children Fund (Unicef).

Speaking at the occasion, Lisa Ceesay, a Public Health Officer, said exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, low blood pressure, malnutrition and growth retardation.

Ms Ceesay added that, children should be breastfed at least one hour after birth and six months exclusively without water and food. “This will help the white blood cells to effectively fight against any disease that may likely to affect the child”, she said.

She told participants that breastfeeding is economical to parents because it save them from the burden of buying other food stuff within the first six months from the date of birth, saying “despite the important role the media plays in sensitising the general public on the impact of breastfeeding, as stakeholders, breastfeeding-mothers should also take up the challenge to sensitise their friends at the community level. This is the most effective method of raising awareness among nursing mothers” she noted.

Malang Janneh, Coordinating Officer of the Breastfeeding Campaign, said exclusive breastfeeding will make children to develop love and care for their parents especially mothers, adding that, it also improves the general well-being of children health, education among others. He revealed that exclusive breastfeeding helps the society to be freed from violence as a result of the sense of maturity developed by breastfed children and advised participants to breastfeed exclusively in the best interest of their children.

Mrs Hadijatou Jobe, nurse-in-charge of Bakau Health Centre, noted that the response from breastfeeding mothers in the past five years has been impressive. She added that, this has resulted to the decline in maternal mortality.

A similar sensitisation programme was held at the Faji Kunda Health Center.

Author: Written by Buya Jammeh
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper
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