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Nandi marks World Breastfeeding Week

Health officers in Nandi County have called for concerted efforts from all actors to ensure breastfeeding- friendly environments for mothers and babies in all health facilities and work places in the region.

 Under the theme “Enabling breastfeeding: Making the difference for working parents,” the officers noted that this would help improve exclusive breast feeding rates among women and adequate nutrition among children.

 Speaking at Kapsisiywa Health Centre in Chesumei Sub- County, Nandi County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health and Sanitation Ms Ruth Koech said breast milk saves children’s lives as it provides antibodies that give them a health boost and protects them against many childhood illnesses.

“Breast milk is the only accepted food recommended for infants for the first six months of their lives. Let us support breastfeeding adequately because if offers babies all the energy and nutrients that they need for their first months of life,” she said.

The CECM stated that breast feeding must be considered a public health issue that requires capacity and education at all levels.

The celebration focuses on Warm Chain campaign which put the mother – baby pair at the center and strives to link different actors by coordinating efforts at all levels. It aims to inform, engage and galvanize action on breastfeeding and related issues to protect, promote and support breast feeding.

 Koech noted that key actors in the chain include health systems, work place and community support adding that one way to sustain the Warm Chain is by recognizing existing and potential actors and the role of existing initiatives such as the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.

“By doing so, it empowers all mothers for an effective breastfeeding experience and also establishes referral and linkages throughout the warm chain,” she said.

WHO recommend early initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, feeding the child only breast milk for the first six months ( exclusive breastfeeding) and continuing to breastfeed for up to 24 months, or beyond with the introduction of timely, nutritionally adequate and safe complimentary solid foods at six months.

 By Linet Wafula

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