Malawi launches Breast Feeding Week: Health Minister Muluzi says campaign a collective responsibility

Malawi on Tuesday 1st August 2017 joined the rest of the world in commencing this year’s World Breast Feeding Week.

Atupele:  Breasfeading is key for child development

The official launching ceremony took place at Manica Ground which is located at the Epicentre of the Eastern Region District of Balaka and was graced by Health Minister Atupele Muluzi who is also leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Other notable faces that attended the function included Parliamenterian and Former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri, Ward
Counsellors, Government officials from the Ministry of Health and Non-Governmental Organizations including Donor Support Partners and Member of Parliament for Balaka North Constituency  Lucius Banda.

Addressing hundreds of people who attended the launch, the Health Minister said promotion of Breastfeeding is no one man show hence urging the general public and stakeholders to support Breastfeeding Mothers by creating an environment that promotes Breastfeeding.

Muluzi also revealed that the Malawi government is still drawing and searching for other extra mechanisms that will push further things in improving and encouraging mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies.

“We need to collectively ensure that our children are exclusively breastfed during the first six months and make sure they have access
to nutritious food as we continue breastfeeding them until they mark two years,” said Muluzi.

He also called upon politicians in the country to play a leading role in encouraging women to excessively breastfeed their babies.

The Minister also took time to thank developmental partners providing the Malawi government with financial and material support towards various maternal and child health programmes.

On his part, Parliamentarian for the area where the Breastfeeding week launch was conducted Lucius Banda concurred with the Health Minister that Breastfeeding campaign is indeed a collective responsibility.

“As Members of Parliament (MP’s), we always encourage our mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children. Breastfeeding is not a sole responsibility of a woman but it is a collective social responsibility. If we work together, we will surely have healthy
children and a nation of giants,” said Banda while boosting he was exclusively breastfed hence being a giant attracting ululation and
handclapping from the audience.

Banda also took this as an opportunity to ask the government through the Health Minister to construct a new Hospital in Balaka.

He argued that the current Balaka District Hospital which is always congested has so many constraints including shortage of beds,
ambulances among others.

As a short term measure of easing some of the problems and congestion in particular, Banda has appealed to the government to rehabilitate health centres in his constituency so that people should not only rely on Balaka District Hospital.

World Breastfeeding Week is an annual event and was celebrated for the first time in 1992.

The week falls from 1-7 August and was established by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).

The goal was to promote exclusive Breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, provide
critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases as well as fostering growth.

The global theme for this years commemorations if Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’.’

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