By Oumie Bojang
The National Nutrition Agency yesterday celebrated world breastfeeding week with calls for workplaces to create breastfeeding facilities for working mothers.
Taking cue from the theme “Enabling breastfeeding:Making a difference for working parents,” the celebration promoted awareness about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding (feeding the baby with just bread milk for six months) for the health and well-being of both infants and mothers.
Speaking at the conference Malang N Fofana, deputy executive director of NaNA said in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives, governments, policy makers, communities and parents should raise awareness and advocate for breastfeeding-friendly workplaces through various media engagements.
He added that world breastfeeding week initiative was conceptualised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Unicef with the aim of promoting optimal infant and young child feeding especially exclusive breastfeeding for the six months of life, for various health benefits such as providing critical nutrients especially in early years of life, protecting children from deadly diseases like pneumonia, decreasing food insecurity and promotes growth and development.
Sanjally Trawally, the deputy director of health promotion and education of the ministry of health said breast milk is the first food not only for humans but animals as well.
He said traditionally, women have been providing breast milk for their kids, but exclusive breast feeding in the first six months has been a challenge, because of the colour of the milk just after birth with parents skeptical about feeding their kids with it
“I think they did not understand the importance of that colour of the milk so they considered it to be harmful to the kids. Research has been conducted and it’s proven that the milk is in fact good for consumption. We are happy that parents are feeding their kids with it,” he said.
Mariama Lamarana Jallow, an accountant at NaNA, a breastfeeding mother, urged all mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children for the first complete six months of their lives.