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World Breastfeeding Week Celebrated

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Saturday August 12, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The Ministry of Public Health celebrated the World Breastfeeding Week with the motto “Together towards Continued Breast Feeding” at the presence of a number of government officials, representatives from UNICEF, World Health Organization, World Food Organization in Afghanistan and other health partners.
The goal was to raise public awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding and reduction of child mortality. Director of MoPH’s public nutrition department, Homayoun Ludin told that every year, World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated around the globe aims to support breastfeeding.
Replying a question on Afghan children situation, he said, “Over the last 12 years, there were about 60 percent children facing with malnutrition, but the number had been reduced in 1392.” Calling powder milk as the main problem, he said, unfortunately, some mothers give their children powder milk, a challenge facing the children with malnutrition and many other problems, he went on to say. Likewise, the first milk of the mother, referred to as Colostrum (called “Fella” locally), has a special type of milk that occurs on the very first days after birth in the mother’s breast, which contains large amounts of active immunoglobulin cells, antibodies and other protective proteins which act as the first vaccine or immunization agent and protects the child against a large number of infections, MoPH officials stressed. There are 961 malnutrition treatment centers operational in secure and insecure provinces  of  the  country, Ludin said, adding there are also midwives in 2500 health centers who give health advices to mothers after they give birth.
Those families who are not financially good, can use the foodstuffs the health centers recommend them, he continued. The Ministry of Public Health has hired a nutrition consultant in each health facility to prevent malnutrition by educating mothers about children, infants and mothers’ nutrition. Over the past year, more than two million breastfeeding mothers have been consulted, he went on to say. The MoPH’s message to all mothers is they should continually breastfeed their children when the child gets six month, during which no water should be given to the child. After six months, they should give their children healthy foods, vegetables etc. to have sound children. World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
Shukria Kohistani

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