Breastfeeding seminars

Breastfeeding protects mother and child from diseases

LAHORE: Breastfeeding sensitization seminar was held with the collaboration of Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians, UNICEF and Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Lahore, here on Monday.

Prof. Mahmood Ali Malik was the chief guest and Prof. Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah, Prof. Dr. Masood Sadiq, Vice Chancellor of the University of Child Health Sciences (UCHS) and Prof. Dr. Nishat Maqsood, Chief retired from the FJMC Preventive Pediatrics Department were special guests.

In addition, Prof. Shamsa Humayun, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Munir Akhtar Saleemi, Dr. Ayesha Farid, Prof. Noreen Akmal, Deans Prof. Naveed Akbar Hotiana, Prof. Manazza Iqbal, Prof. Muniza Qayyum, Dr. Rameeza Kalim Head of Department of Social and Preventive Pediatrics, FJMU and other faculty members, nurses and paramedics also attended the seminar.

Dr. Tariq Mehmood Mian, President of PAFP, Prof. Dr. Junaid Rasheed, Head of Department of Pediatrics, UCHS, Dr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF, Dr. Uzma Khurram Bukhari, Head of Nutrition at UNICEF, and representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) were also present. .

The objective of the seminar was to raise public awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.

FJMC Vice Chancellor, Professor Khalid Masood Gondal said that breastfeeding is very helpful for both the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding contributes to the mental and physical development of the child and increases his immunity. Along with this, breastfeeding also protects the mother from dangerous diseases like cancer. There are clear instructions on breastfeeding in the Holy Quran. He further stated that all medical professionals should educate the public about breastfeeding, which is an ongoing charity.

Professor Masood Sadiq has suggested that all working mothers breastfeeding their children should be given six months leave. Dr. Asif Mehmood Jah said such kind of awareness programs are very important.

Dr. Mahmood Ali Malik said that every mother should breastfeed her children at least for two years following the instructions given in the Holy Quran.

Professor Nishat Maqsood pointed out that setting up day care should be compulsory for working mothers. Professor Munir Akhtar Saleemi said breast milk should be started after newborn babies are born and formula milk should be discarded in hospitals.

Professor Junaid Rasheed gave a detailed presentation on the benefits of breastfeeding. Dr. Rameeza Kaleem highlighted the need to provide support to breastfeeding mothers and also informed about the organization of baby-friendly hospital initiatives.

Dr. Uzma Khurram Bukhari, Nutrition Officer at UNICEF, presented the global and Pakistani statistics regarding breastfeeding mothers. He said that according to the MICS 2018 survey, only 10% of mothers in Punjab start breastfeeding their babies within the first hour which is a sign of extreme danger and hence the rate of malnutrition among children also increases.

Dr. Khalil Ahmed, IRMNCH Program Director, said a door to door awareness campaign is being launched from 29th August 2022 with the support of Lady Health Workers across Punjab to raise awareness about breastfeeding. All preparations for this have been completed.

Later, teachers, family physicians, nurses and other participants took part in a panel discussion to highlight mothers’ breastfeeding issues. Professor Khalid Masood Gondal distributed the shields to distinguished guests and thanked all organizations, especially UNICEF and PAFP for their support.