Bertha Badu-Agyei, GNA
Kyeremase (E/R), Aug 9, GNA - The Hunger project Ghana has marked the world breastfeeding week at Kyeremase and Obenyemi Epicentres with a call on male partners and community members to encourage lactating mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
The day was marked with community sensitisation and durbars to educate mothers on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and demonstration of proper positioning of babies attachment at the breast to raise awareness.
Globally, statistics indicate that only about two out of five of all new-borns are put to the breast within the first thirty minutes after birth and only 40 per cent of children less than six months of age are exclusively breastfed.
A report by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) also indicates that only 52 per cent of Ghanaian mothers exclusively breastfeed their children suggesting “that a large number of Ghanaian babies are deprived of the major nutritional, health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding.
Speaking on the theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life-a recognition of the importance of breastfeeding to a baby’s future”, Mrs Stephanie Ashley, the Maternal and Child Health Project Coordinator at The Hunger Project Ghana noted that breastmilk provided children with right nutrition and protection needed, especially in the early stages of their life.
She told participants that breastfeeding was a low cost way of feeding babies and exclusive breastfeeding helped to prevent under nutrition, promoted brain development and prevented the child from infectious diseases at early stage and urged mothers not to waste money on baby formulae.
She said the practice of exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months, was one of the cardinal interventions of Hunger Project Ghana’s Maternal and Child Healthcare Improvement Project (sponsored by Else Kroner Fresenius foundation)
The midwife at the Kyeremase Epicentre clinic, Madam Abigail Appiah Tawiah, said apart from saving money from buying baby formulae, the exclusive breastfeeding served as a life-saver for babies and therefore encouraged them to patronise the maternal and child health services offered at the facility.
The Maternal and Child Healthcare Improvement Project initiated by THP aims improving access to quality of healthcare services through specialised trainings of midwifery assistants, equipping of Epicentre clinics with standard delivery beds with obstetric kits, and increase knowledge and awareness of maternal and child healthcare in fifteen(15) out of the forty-five(45) epicentres in Ghana.”
The Epicentres are Comprehensive Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds built by the Hunger project Ghana in collaboration with the beneficiary communities.