Malawian nursing mothers have been urged to take the six months exclusive breast feeding with the aim of reducing under five mortality rate in the country.
Baby Friendly Health Initiative Coordinator for Nsanje district, Ruockia Machumu said the best way to achieve the objective was through excessive breast feeding within the first six months of an infant.
He was speaking when Nsanje District Health Office launched a breast feeding week on Saturday.
While addressing the gathering at Chigumukire Primary School in the district, Mwachumu said the majority of under five children die every day due to malnutrition which result from restrained breast feeding methods.
She said the launch, which was celebrated under the theme ‘understanding the past, planning for the future’, will lead the health personnel to assisting both lactating and pregnant mothers on the importance of such practice to the toddlers.
“We strive to convince parents that breast milk is the best food a loving mother would give to a child while in the same way forgetting the myths that put the child’s life at risk,” she said.
The BFHI coordinator also highlighted that the breast feeding message is important to everyone since not only mothers take care of infants.
Mwachumu deplored women who do not feed their children the very first milk soon after delivery noting that it was highly nutritious for the child.
“The best mother feeds her child with the first reddish milk that comes soon after delivery because it is nutritious, it acts as the first immunization to the child,” said Mwachumu while deploring the women who dispose away of such milk due to different myths and beliefs.
She emphasized that every woman should breastfeed her new born baby within 30 minutes after delivery and maintain feeding the infant excessively thus without any food or water supplements until it reaches six months old.
The coordinator said the infant must be lactating until two years even if the mother is HIV positive.
In his remarks, Senior Group Village Head Nyamula encouraged the gathering to work hand in hand with hospital officials for all the children to grow healthy.
Ministry of Health commemorates breast feeding week every year in August and this year, Nsanje District commemorates it from 25th to 31st August.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :