Breastfeeding seminars

Breastfeeding gives babies the best start in life: experts – Journal

PESHAWAR/KHYBER: At a seminar on Saturday, health experts called on people to promote breastfeeding to reduce infant mortality rate and protect babies from infections and diseases like diarrhoea.

“Through breastfeeding alone, we can boost immunity and prevent newborn and child deaths. It is the most cost-effective public health intervention that can give babies the best start to a healthy life,” Health Secretary Amer Sultan Tareen told participants of the seminar in Peshawar.

He said it was very worrying that nearly 50% of babies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are deprived of breast milk and exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months.

“We must do everything we can to reverse these numbers and ensure a good start for every child,” he said.

Seminars in Peshawar, Khyber stress importance of breast milk

Chief Health Officer Shaheen Afridi said that in order to promote and support breastfeeding, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was launched in 1992 to highlight the importance of breastfeeding . He asked parents to protect the health of their babies by giving them breast milk.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the whole month of August was usually spent advocating to generate support for breastfeeding, she said.

Director of Nutrition, Dr Fazal Majeed, said that in 2018, the World Health Assembly endorsed the celebration of WBW as an opportunity to communicate the importance of breastfeeding everywhere.

He said the Breastfeeding Protection Act exists, but needs stricter implementation to tackle violations and unnecessary use of breastmilk substitutes.

Abdullah Mohammad Yousaf of Unicef ​​opined that since 2015, World Breastfeeding Week has focused on the contribution of breast milk to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Breastfeeding ensures food security and reduces inequalities, he said.

In Khyber district, health experts have said that breast milk is a complete food for infants as it contains nutrients and vitamins which are very helpful in digestion and ensure the physical growth of newborn babies.

They were speaking at a seminar organized by Jamrud health authorities to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding.

District Health Officer Dr. Zafar Ali, Nutrition Officer Anam Afridi, Dr. Usman and Dr. Neelam spoke on the occasion.

They said breast milk also contains natural antibodies that protect infants from various diseases. They insisted that mothers who avoided breastfeeding their children were actually putting their own health at risk.

Seminar participants also organized a walk to Bab-i-Khyber to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for infant health.

Posted in Dawn, August 7, 2022