Commissioner Buncamper endorses awareness campaign to highlight breastfeeding

 Commissioner Buncamper endorses awareness campaign to highlight breastfeeding

Commissioner of Public Health Maria Buncamper-Molanus endorses the campaign set-up by Sector Health Care Affairs (SHCA) and its stakeholders that has been planned for the month of August to highlight the importance of Breastfeeding.

On August 1 and for a one-week period, more than 120 countries around the world will kick-off activities to celebrate and encourage breastfeeding which improves the health of babies around the globe. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need.

It is recommended that motherâ??s exclusively breastfeed until a baby is six months old. Nutrition and nurturing during the first three years are both crucial for lifelong health and well-being. In infancy, no gift is more precious than breastfeeding; yet barely on in three infants according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is exclusively breastfed during the first four months of life.

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The month of activities includes some of the following, radio talk show interviews, information sessions, poster, features articles and a brochure.

"Infant and young child feeding are a cornerstone of care for childhood development. World-wide according to the WHO, about 30 per cent of children under five are stunted as a consequences of poor feeding and repeated infections.

"Over the past decades, the evidence of biological requirements for appropriate nutrition, recommended feeding practices and factors impeding appropriate feeding has grown steadily. Moreover, much has been learned about interventions that are effective in promoting improved breastfeeding.

"I encourage all first-time mothers to learn more about breastfeeding prior to their childâ??s birth and to use this form of feeding at least for the first six-months of their babyâ??s life. The benefits are life-long for the child. I also appeal to fathers to support their wives, and girlfriends where breastfeeding is concerned," Commissioner of Public Health Maria Buncamper-Molanus told the GIS on Thursday.

The stakeholders involved in creating awareness about breastfeeding are: SHCA Preventive Health Department, Pediatricians at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), White & Yellow Cross Baby Clinic, nurses in the SMMCâ??s Obstetrics and Gynaecology ward and the Government Information Service (GIS).