In its bid to encourage exclusive breastfeeding in adherence to Ghana newborn care policy, RISE- Ghana, a Non-governmental organization based in the Upper East Region has marked this year’s breastfeeding day with a call on traditional authorities to support the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding.
According to the Ghana Child Health Policy, exclusive breastfeeding will be promoted from birth to 6 months (children less than 180 days). Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant is breastfed and given no other solids or liquids, including water (drops of vitamins, minerals or medicines, are allowed, when medically indicated).
Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.
Speaking to A1 NEWS after his organisation marked this year’s World Breastfeeding Day in Bolgatanga, the Executive Director of RISE-Ghana, Awal Ahmed Kariama, said in reducing the number of newborn death in the region, his outfit is initiating a mother-baby friendly health facility initiative project in the collaboration of stakeholders.
“RISE –Ghana is implementing a project called mother-baby friendly health facility initiative project with support from UNICEF Ghana, Ghana Health Service (GHS) so as a major way to sustain this programme, we got funding from World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) to mark the week and we realized that the traditional authorities such as the people who are gathered here today, the chiefs are very important in strengthening worm chain of breastfeeding. So we brought together these chiefs from the various traditional areas across the region, so that we can build their capacity to support new mothers and to support women to be able to do exclusive breastfeeding in early initiation in their various communities.”
Upper East Health Director Dr. Winfred Ofosu, said exclusive breastfeeding in the region by nursing mothers is still poor.
“Available evidence shows breastfeeding has benefits for both mother and the baby. For the baby breastfeeding protects against infections such as diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, increases intelligence of the child and possibly reduces overweight and diabetes. For nursing mothers, breastfeeding protects against breast cancer, improve birth spacing and probably protects against ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes”.
He recognised that traditional leaders have a unique role to play in ensuring that nursing mothers are encouraged to feed their babies.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Fuseni Adongo, admonished stakeholders in health to make health facilities mother-baby friendly by making available counseling opportunities for mothers and rest rooms for feeding babies with breast milk.
Source:A1radioonline.com|101.1FM|Ghana| Ngamegbulam Chidozie Stephen