Monday, May 20, 2024
Home > Counties > Avoid herbs for infants below 6 months, mothers advised

Avoid herbs for infants below 6 months, mothers advised

Ms. Tabitha Kimoni from Nutrition International (NI) has advised mothers from Elgeyo Marakwet against giving their infants medicinal herbs during the first six months of their lives.

Noting that most mothers give herbs to their babies to prevent various diseases, Ms. Kimoni said exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months helps prevent mild to severe infections and also protects the baby against chronic conditions in future.

The nutritionist said breast milk has everything the baby needs for easy digestion, brain development, protection from various illnesses and infections and therefore the baby does not need any herbs to do what the milk does.

“Breast milk contains anti bodies that help the baby fight off viruses and bacteria and the longer a baby breastfeeds the greater the protection from illnesses and long-term diseases,” she said.

She was speaking in Chepkorio in Keiyo South Sub County during the launch of Malezi bora afya mashinani programme aimed at sensitising women on what they should eat so that both the mother and the child remain health during and after pregnancy.

According to Joseph Anyango, the county NI coordinator, the programme which takes place twice in a year since it was started in the county in 2014 has seen malnutrition levels drop from 30% in 2014 to 22% currently.

Anyango said while there is availability of foods in the county, the challenge was in getting a balanced diet and therefore the establishment of the programme which the county funds at a cost of Sh13 million while NI contributes Sh10 million every year.

The county nutrition coordinator Priscilla Ngetich regretted that few pregnant women attend pre-natal clinics during their first trimester where they can receive advice and instead come late in their pregnancy.

The coordinator appealed to pregnant women to start pre-natal clinics early where they are given iron, folic acid and de-wormers and for those who have already given birth, the children are given vitamin A and de-wormers.

She encouraged women to join support groups in their respective areas and if they are not aware of any, they should enquire from the health facility near them.

By Alice Wanjiru

Leave a Reply