Busia County Government in partnership with Nutrition International has commissioned two breastfeeding stations with a view to enhance exclusive breastfeeding by lactating mothers.
The facilities unveiled at Busia County Referral Hospital and Port Victoria targets to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months will benefit women including healthcare workers who have been having challenges in getting spaces to breastfeed while on duty.
“We are all aware that the first exposure to the antibodies the child gets is through breastfeeding which will assure that child’s rate of survival,’ said Busia County chief officer in the Department of Health and Sanitation, Jonathan Ino.
Ino noted that misconception that breastfeeding causes changes in appearance among women has led to early introduction of foods and fluids putting the life of children at risk.
“We must shun the fallacy that breastfeeding will make breasts flatter,’ he said, adding that breastfeeding has a lot of benefits.
Nutrition International Busia County Programme Coordinator, Juliet Nduta, encouraged the County Government to establish more breastfeeding stations in all workstations and public areas.
‘Having breastfeeding stations within facilities and common areas like markets would help in ensuring that exclusive breastfeeding is not only increased but also maintained over time as the community would be able to understand the benefits and support mothers to exclusively breastfeed,’ she said.
According to the Kenya Health Indicator Survey data 2021, early initiation of new born to other foods and exclusive breastfeeding in Busia County stands at 93.9%and 82.4% respectively against the country’s rate of 62% and 61%.
The theme of this year’s World’s breastfeeding week is Step up for breastfeeding: Educate and support.
By Salome Alwanda