Breastfeeding seminars

Establish workplace breastfeeding zones – UNICEF Ghana

UNICEF Ghana has called on companies and employers to establish breastfeeding zones in workplaces and provide regular breaks to allow breastfeeding employees who decide to bring their babies there to breastfeed them.

UNICEF Ghana Nutrition Officer, Jevaise Aballo, who made the call, said that when such a facility is available at the workplace, breastfeeding employees can even decide to come with their babysitters to care for babies in the facility while they worked or the employer may decide to employ someone to care for these babies in the facility while the mothers worked in their office.

“It is done elsewhere outside the country and it is feasible within the framework of our competition. In this country there are examples. It is very important that they create space in the workplaces to allow mothers to bring their babies there while working,” he said.

Referring to the benefits of such a facility in the workplace, Mr Aballo, speaking in an interview after a workshop on nutrition and nurturing care for media personnel, said studies had shown that Employers who offered such a facility in the workplace were not seeing much employee absenteeism and this meant increased production.

“Absenteeism has a cost to the employer. If you are able to create such a facility for mothers to breastfeed their babies, breast milk will prevent babies from getting sick frequently, which could cause the employee to miss work,” he said. Explain.

He added that knowing their babies were nearby, so they could check on them from time to time, helped employees feel sane for work.

Earlier during his presentation at the workshop, Mr Aballo said the percentage of infants aged zero to six months receiving only breast milk in the country had fallen from 52% in 2014 to 43% in 2017, while that of newborns put to the breast within an hour of birth has also decreased, from 56% in 2014 to 52% in 2017.

Additionally, he said the percentage of children aged six to 23 months who received foods from at least five of the eight food groups also decreased, from 28% in 2014 to 23% in 2017.

“The prevalence of underweight among children under five rose from 11% in 2014 to 13% in 2017.

The prevalence of wasting among children under five increased from 5% in 2014 to 7% in 2017,” he noted.

Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding

The Nutrition Officer mentioned the economic benefits of breastfeeding for the country, including preventing 3,774 infant deaths during the neonatal period (0-28 days) each year, which enables the nation to saves over $5.8 million and generates over $594 million for the economy. .

In her presentation, the Greater Accra Regional Nutrition Officer of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Faustina Vimariba Tour, said from the field data, they observed that supplementary feeding was a challenge, especially for lactating mothers in the city as they are unable to switch from exclusive feeding to complementary feeding.

As a result, she said some Ghanaian babies ate only one type of food that provided them with only one nutrient, adding that this was one of the causes of anemia in under-fives.

Nutrition

In a welcoming remark, UNICEF Ghana Communications and Advocacy Officer, Eulette Ewart said that nutrition plays a vital role in the development and well-being of children, adding that children need receive adequate nutrition for their continued development and transition from childhood to adulthood. .

She said that in terms of education, nutritional deficiencies affect the cognitive development of the child.

Previously, the UNICEF team and the media visited the child protection clinic at Greater Accra (Ridge) Regional Hospital where they interacted with the women who had come for the postnatal and antenatal clinics, as well as with the health personnel caring for them.

The assistant director of nursing services at the hospital, Scholastical Dery, mentioned some of the education she gave to the women who attend the clinic regarding nutrition, how to take care of their babies and how to properly breastfeed babies. .