KAMPALA – As the World celebrates the World Breastfeeding Week, the Ministry of Health has emphasized the issue of parents breastfeeding their babies saying it is essential for their health.
Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) spares a week to celebrate World Breastfeeding. The theme of this year’s week is “Empower parents to enable breastfeeding.”
Ministry of Health revealed that there are many health benefits of breastfeeding to both the mother and the child.
“Breastfeeding lays a foundation for good health & survival of children and women,” recommends the Ministry.
Health Ministry added that breastfeeding should start within the 1st hour of birth.
Reports from Health Ministry indicate that in Uganda 66% of babies are breastfed within the 1st 1 hour of birth and 66% babies breastfeed from 1st hour to 6 months.
The report added that 50% of babies are breastfed for 24 months with 2% not breastfed at all.
“Everybody has a role to play in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding” it recommended.
Health Ministry said therefore urged fathers and male partners to support their female partners to attend antenatal care at least four times during pregnancy to learn about good child feeding practices.
“Support your partner to deliver from a health facility for breastfeeding support” it added.
Earlier this week, the government of Uganda advised parents to breastfeed babies for at least 6 months and promised to deal with those who abandon their babies and fail to do so claiming to be busy at work.