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Regional News of Saturday, 4 June 2005

Source: GNA

Exclusive breast-feeding advocacy programme launched

Charia (UW), June 4, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister on Friday advised rural women who had resorted to bottle-feeding their babies, to stop the practice because they might not have the capacity to mobilise funds to sustain it.

He said lack of the ability to adequately, sustain that method of feeding their babies, could lead to the children becoming malnourished. Mr Dery gave the advice when he launched an Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) advocacy programme for the Charia Health Sub-District at a durbar of chiefs and people of the area at Charia in the Wa municipality.

A major goal of the programme is to ensure that mothers voluntarily adhere strictly to exclusive breastfeeding for their babies within 30 minutes after birth and to continue the process until the babies are six months old.

Mr Dery observed that even technologically advanced communities were advocating for the promotion of exclusive breast-feeding and not just mere breast-feeding because of the advantages entailed in the former.

He urged the people not to allow politics and petty quarrels to erase the high communal spirit that had been an essential tool of community development, sayings peace was the greatest resource for progress.

Dr Erasmus Agongo, the regional Director of Health Services, said poor health should be equated with poverty and any attempt at eradicating poverty should begin with ensuring that everybody had access to good health.

He commended the Charia Health Sub-District for working hard to qualify as one of the ten baby friendly health institutions in the region.

He called on all communities to keep their surroundings clean, noting that the most common ailments in the area were environment-related and preventable such as malaria, cholera, and snakebite.

Madam Cresentia Duopar, a Deputy Director of Nursing Services explained that exclusive breastfeeding promoted the baby's access to colostrums, the yellowish milk that first comes out after childbirth. 04 June 05