LIBERIA: World Breastfeeding Week Observed in Liberia … As Deputy Health Minister Says Poor Nutrition Reduces kid’s Ability
Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Madam Norwu Howard says poor nutrition reduces child’s ability. She wants baby mothers to prioritize breastfeeding.
According to her, breastfeeding remains important as Breast milk helps keep babies healthy, smart and strong.
Madam Howard made the statement over the weekend in Paynesville at programs marking the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week in Liberia.
She said the week is aimed at educating baby mothers about the importance of breastfeeding.
The Deputy Minister praised WaterAid, ActionAid, World Health Organization, IrishAid and other local and international organizations, for their continuous support to the Liberian government.
Madam Howard at the same time used the occasion to call on the Legislative Branch of the Liberian government to protect women’s rights and implement breastfeeding at the community level.
She disclosed that significant efforts have been made in the recent years by the government of Liberia with the support from the development partners to improve nutrition.
Speaking at the event, UNICEF Deputy Country Representative, Amadou A. Eisse committed his institution’s support to the Liberian government.
He disclosed that UNICEF is prepared to strengthen ties with the Liberian government and make sure the Ministry of Health meets its targeted goals.
For her part, Teta Lincoin, Senior Advisor for Health and Nutrition at the Embassy of Ireland, said the embassy was pleased to celebrate the historic event along with the government.
She encouraged Liberians to do more in creating the awareness on breastfeeding, emphasizing that Ireland as a partner will continue to support the government in the area of Nutrition.
Speaking also, WaterAid Liberia Country Director, Chuchu Selma noted that his organization was gratified to be a part of such an event.
Mr. Selma used the occasion to admonish baby mothers to always wash their hands before breastfeeding their children.
According to him, WaterAid has been providing support to the sector as a means of improving Nutrition in Liberia.
“We are committed to assist government in promoting and improving the issue of Nutrition in Liberia”, Selma asserted.
For his part, a Member of the WASH Legislative Caucus and River Cess County District #2 Representative, Byron Zahnwea described breastfeeding as key to every child’s health.
“So we want to encourage each and every one of us that we need from our homes in preaching the message of breastfeeding “Rep. Zahnwea added.
Also making remarks, the Director of Nutrition at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Annette Brimah-Davis commended the Ministry and the development partners for their support to the Nutritional Division as a means of improving breastfeeding and child growth.
“Celebration of Breastfeeding Week is in line with the World Protocol of Breastfeeding that officially started from August one to the seven”. Dr. Davies said
In a related, Sinoe County District #2 Representative, Samson Wiah urged the Ministry of Heath to make the issue of breastfeeding a part of its decentralization process.
Representative Wiah encouraged the Health Ministry to reach areas in the rural parts of the country where health workers will be able to organize similar event.
The inaugural World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was in August of 1992 with the focus of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is the organization behind WBW and was formed in 1991, the day after Valentine’s Day.
Each year, WABA promotes a focus for World Breastfeeding Week, such as “The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, The First Hour, and Exclusive Breastfeeding”.
In 1989, WHO and UNICEF released a joint statement titled “Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: This year, the Week was observed under the theme: “Step Up for Breastfeeding, Educate and Support.