BREAST | FEEDING | WEEK
ISINGIRO - Mothers living in the Rubondo zone in Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro district have today (Thursday) joined the rest of the World to commemorate World breastfeeding week.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated across the world every year between August 1 and August 7.
This year’s celebrations focused on stepping up breastfeeding, education and support.
Action Against Hunger and its partners Medical Teams International, and World Food Programme among others spearheaded the celebrations.
According to Swaib Kateregga, the program manager of Action Against Hunger, the celebration is meant to sensitise the population on the importance of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is encouraged for up to two years or beyond.
"Breast milk provides all the nutrients a baby requires in the first six months of life and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year and up to one-third during the second year of life according to doctors and that's why we are emphasizing it so much," Kateregga noted.
He explained that breastfeeding is an important aspect of maternal newborn and child health because it gives newborns all the nutrients they need for healthy development.
According to Kateregga, breast milk also contains antibodies that provide protection against common childhood illnesses, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef recommend that breastfeeding be initiated within the first hour of birth and that children be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.