KISIMA – A senior government official has called on men in TANZANIA to support breastfeeding mothers at home and in society.

BAHI District Acting Executive Director BERNADETHA JANUARY says such efforts by husbands will help achieve exclusive breastfeeding for all babies below SIX months in the country.

Breastfeeding saves lives of both baby and mother (Pic. Agencies)

The DAILY NEWS says she has addressed delegates to a Breastfeeding Week ceremony at KISIMA CHA NDEGE Village in the DODOMA Region.

It quotes Ms JANUARY as saying it is possible to breastfeed a child throughout SIX months up to TWO years if the husband supports his wife.

She says breastfeeding mothers need support and encouragement from their husbands because both parents are responsible for child upbringing and care.

WORLD VISION TANZANIA has organised the Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness amid reports saying babies can live if they are breastfed for the FIRST SIX months of life.

Ms JANUARY says at least 97 percent of new mothers in the country breastfeed their babies, but the majority of them do not consider breastfeeding procedures and requirements.

She says husbands must therefore help their wives because breastfeeding is very critical during the FIRST SIX months of life; as it helps to prevent diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia – the TWO major causes of death among infants.

Ms JANUARY says the practice is also beneficial to the mother, as it reduces chances of her getting ovarian and breast cancer.

During the period of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to feed their babies with nothing but breast milk alone, and in the following months they can then give babies complimentary food – but with continued breastfeeding up to TWO years.

Acting BAHI District Medical Officer REBECCA NGHWASA says the State and other stakeholders have been campaigning for the better protection of the mother and the new born.

She says a pregnant mother needs sufficient food and vitamins and the authorities encourage both parents to attend antenatal clinic for the safety of the baby and the woman.

WORLD VISION TANZANIA Program Manager NOEL MBAGUKA says his organisation has trained more community health workers in the BAHI and CHEMBA districts of DODOMA.

He says the number has increased to 220 from 150 workers, allowing each village to have at least TWO health workers, as they collaborate with the government to protect both the mother and the new born.

The WORLD VISION TANZANIA Program Manager says lack of community health workers has increased cases of maternal and infant mortality in the TWO districts of the country./Sabanews/cam

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