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Prioritise education about benefits of breastfeeding, MPs say

By Parliament Press
Legislators have asked government to budget and provide funds for the welfare, sensitization and training of breastfeeding mothers about their health and dietary needs.

Responding to a statement presented to Parliament about the upcoming World Breastfeeding Week, the legislators said that some mothers in villages lacked knowledge about the benefits of breastfeeding.

In the statement, the Minister of State for Health (General Duties) Hon. Sarah Opendi said that the World Breastfeeding Week is intended to raise awareness of breastfeeding and its importance and benefits to the mother and child.

The Minister explained that breast milk is the richest and unrivalled source of all the nutrients required for human growth and survival of a child and the practice of breastfeeding a child is inherently human.

“Breastfeeding is the best start of life, provides perfect nutrition for babies, protects against diseases including obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in adulthood such as Cancer, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure among others, and improves intelligence quotient of children,” said Minister Opendi.

The World Breastfeeding Week will be commemorated 1 – 8 August 2018. In Uganda the celebrations will be held at Bulindi Primary School in Hoima under the theme: Breastfeeding: foundation of Life.

“This Week helps sensitize mothers on the importance of breastfeeding to both the mother and child and improve the rate of survival of infants. This is the foundation of life and boosts the child’s immunity,” the Minister added.

Hon. Henry Kibalya (NRM, Bugabula South) said that mothers in villages do not have the right nutritional information.

“Government should add a budget line for nutrition of breastfeeding mothers. These mothers need to have regular training on how to breastfeed for a better foundation of their children,” he said.

Hon. Beatrice Anywar (Ind., Kitgum Munic.) said that the government needed to consider the option of having a surrogate to help mothers that lack enough milk.

“The corporates have breast pumps used to pump breast milk and keep it for a few days. I have been a donor of breastmilk to a child because I know the importance of the first milk,” she said.

Hon. David Abala (NRM, Ngora) recommended that breastfeeding be given priority all year round and not only during the upcoming Week.

“The greatest gift you can give to a child is to breastfeed them exclusively,” said Abala.

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