Health News of Thursday, 20 September 2012
Mrs. Esi Amoaful, Deputy Chief Nutrition Officer of the Ghana Health Service, has said the breast was not a sexual tool for men but a "feeding organ" for the newly born to aid in their growth and development.
She said it was wrong for some women not to breastfeed their children on the orders of their husbands saying "African babies survive largely because of the breast milk".
Ms. Amoaful said this at a day's media workshop organized by the Ghana Health Service with support from the USAID, the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance and the Science of Improving Lives, for journalists of the southern belt of the country.
The media training workshop on Nutrition formed part of efforts by the GHS and its partners to generate the needed support to reverse current trends in malnutrition and improve child survival as well as contribute to improving key development outcomes.
Ms. Amoaful said it had become imperative for to invest in nutrition to increase productivity, decrease or prevent stunted growth and also save the lives of over 30,000 children.
She said proper breastfeeding could prevent malnutrition and save over 2500 infants from dying and encouraged mothers to exclusively breastfeed their newborns for the first six months of their lives.
She said exclusive breastfeeding could also prevent diarrhoea other childhood infections and help the parents to save money.
The Nutritionist encouraged women not to be shy to breastfeed their children in public places and even in the trotros.
For working mothers, she said the GHS and Ministry were in consultation with stakeholders to increase the maternity leave to six mothers to ensure that exclusive breastfeeding was properly adhered to.