Save the Children Malawi – a humanitarian organization that delivers life-saving support for children and their families – has expressed commitment to supporting the Government of Malawi in promoting exclusive breastfeeding and recommended child feeding practices.
The organization’s Director of Programmes Development and Quality, Thokozani Bema, made the commitment at Chiwamba Health Centre in the outskirts of Lilongwe during the launch of the 2022 National Breastfeeding Week.
Bema said for the past years, his organization has been training service providers in nutrition and mobilizing community volunteers to educate households on the benefits of nutrition in the first 1, 000 days of a child.
“We will continue supporting government in scaling up nutrition in the first 1, 000 days of a child,” he assured.
The Minister of Health and Population, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, described breastfeeding as a cornerstone of child survival, optimal nutrition and early childhood development.
Chiponda said breastfeeding prevents malnutrition including obesity and gives children the best start in life whether the child is born in a rich family or a poor family.
“As we commemorate the week, I call upon each one of us to create time, space and support for breastfeeding for breastfeeding women and women going back to work in both formal and the non-formal sectors to breastfeed to exclusively breastfeed in the first six months of life and continue breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods after six months until two years or beyond for child survival and development for a healthy and prosperous nation,” she said.
Chiponda this this year’s World Breastfeeding Week resonates well with Malawi as the country raises awareness on the importance of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding as sustainable and cost effect means of ensuring healthy children.
She emphasized the need for collaboration in creating awareness and promoting breastfeeding.
“Supporting breastfeeding involves many actors at all levels. Women need support from the health service, workplace and community to optimally breastfeed, progressing from one level to the other. This is called the Warm Chain of Support. This year’s theme centers on encouraging everyone to play a role in educating and supporting women to follow optimal breastfeeding practices at all times,” said the minister.
In his remarks, UNICEF Malawi Country Representative Rudolph Schwenk commended the Malawi Government for creating a conducive environment for exclusive breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year under a specific theme aimed at promoting, protecting and supporting exclusive breastfeeding as the natural and best way of feeding infants from birth up to six months, followed by sustained breastfeeding with appropriate complementary feeding up to two years or beyond.
World Breast feeding week is a special week that is set aside globally to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. This is one of the strategies for unifying the promotion of breastfeeding globally.
The week is celebrated during the first week of August every year with a theme that is deliberately chosen to draw the attention of caregivers, communities, service providers and the general public on the recommended infant and young child that are vital in improving child survival, growth, development and their quality of life.
The theme for 2022 World Breastfeeding week is “STEP UP BREASTFEEDING: EDUCATE AND SUPPORT”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has lined up several activities to observe the week such as educating and supporting breastfeeding through advertising breastfeeding jingles through national and community radios and television and strengthening activities at hospital level and community level through community level structures such as care groups.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :