Stop making noise about women exposing their breast -public warned
Members of the general public has been urged to desist from making unnecessary noise about women exposing their breast in public places whenever breastfeeding their babies.
The Deputy Director of Reproductive Child Health of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Isabella Sagoe-Moses gave the warning at a press briefing in Accra to highlight activities to mark the 2017 World Breastfeeding Week.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), which is on the theme: ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’ seeks to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise support through advocacy and awareness creation on breastfeeding as an essential child survival intervention.
Breastfeeding(BF), according to health experts is a key contributor to the survival, health and well-being of infants and mothers as it provides babies with the best possible start in life. The 2016 Lancet Breastfeeding series demonstrate that improved BF practices have the potential to save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 women a year and contribute significantly to longterm health.
It is sad to note that despite all the enormous benefits at stake in BF, most Ghanaian women are not able to breastfeed their babies as required due to public outcry on women exposing their breast in public places whenever the need arises to cater for their babies. The GHS and its partners recommends initiation of breastfeeding within 30 minutes of birth as well as exclusive BF for 6 months as the optimal way of feeding infants.
But explaining why the campaign on breastfeeding in the country is not yielding the expected result which eventually is Ghana’s bane in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), Dr. Isabella Sagoe-Moses said, “I think we’re making so much noise about breast exposure during breastfeeding and this is creating a barrier so some women now in public are not comfortable to breastfeed and if they can’t find a place to hide, they don’t know what to do to prevent the exposure, then they don’t breastfeed. So some women will breastfeed at home but when they get to town, they don’t breastfeed which is not advisable”.
She therefore called for normalisation of the practice in public places urging all and sundry to desist from unnecessary discrimination against breastfeeding women in public. She equally advised women to freely breastfeed their babies anytime anywhere without warranting any form of discrimination.
Dr Sagoe-Moses also asked women to practice safe hygiene each time they’re about to breastfeed their babies by first washing their hands thoroughly under running water. She insisted that they should always endeavor to make use of sanitizers in the absence of running water and soap.
In her presentation,National Coordinator for the Breastfeeding Programme at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Mrs Eunice Sackey underscored the need for mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months as an optical way of feeding their babies.
She called on all and sundry to rally behind women to promote breastfeeding adding “it is not the sole responsibility of a woman but a collective societal responsibility”.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week(WBW) celebration is scheduled to be formally launched in the country on August 18, at Takoradi.
The WBW is a global celebration held annually. Since it’s inception in 1993, Ghana has never been left out.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor/GhanaNewsOne.com