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Sierra Leone News: Sierra Leone observes breast feeding week

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation together with its partners on Monday joined the rest of the world to commemorate the world breast feeding week at the St Anthony Hall Syke Street in Freetown.
August 1st to the 7th is scheduled every year to observe and reflect on breast feeding. This year’s theme is “breast feeding a key to sustainable development.”
Delivering the keynote address, Director of Food and Nutrition at the ministry of health and sanitation Mrs Aminata Koroma in her opening statement noted that “this week is for us as a nation to come together, support and promote breast feeding”.
She cited breast feeding as the first food that any human must taste, adding that it is much more natural. She furthered that over the years eighty percent of women in Sierra Leone have been observing breast feeding but cited that they only have difficulty with the exclusive breast feeding, which is for six months.
Mrs Koroma added that, this week there will be a general sensitisation and discussion throughout the country on breastfeeding and thanked their partners for their tireless support.
Public Health Specialist Sanpha Koroma on behalf of GOAL maintained that they have assembled “to join over one hundred and seventy countries to start off the world breastfeeding week.”
He said according to World Health Organisation and UNICEF, breastfeeding is the best way to improve infants with the nutrients they need, pointing out that both organisation recommends exclusive breast feeding for six months.
Koroma noted that the World Alliance For Breastfeeding Action, came up with objective for this year celebration among them is to inform people about the new sustainable development goal and how they relate to breast feeding and infant and young child feeding, to engage and collaborate with a wider range of factor around promotion and protection and support of breastfeeding and a host of others.
Stephanian Mell country representative AVSI in partnership with family homes movement noted that, their work is on the educational aspect and child protection issue. She noted that they work directly with Ebola survivors. She advised suckling mothers to take good care of their children and promote breastfeeding at all levels.
The manager of GOAL IPC programme Flaviour Nhawu in highlighting the significant of hygiene in breast feeding said, the mother should observe her personal hygiene and make sure that she washes her hands whenever she wants to breast feed her child. She furthered that the key to healthy children is to ensure that proper hygiene is maintained.
Chairing the programme, Dr Thomas Samba from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation added that breast feeding is the first food which every child must enjoy and it is a right they must enjoy. He maintained that mothers, fathers and community leaders must ensure that breasting feeding must be observed, so that the country can produce healthy and quality individuals.
By Mohamed J Bah
Tuesday August 02, 2016

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