Breast-milk offers every child healthiest start to life, UNICEF Nutrition Manager


August 1, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

A Nutrition Manager at the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has stated that breast milk offers every child the healthiest start to life with adequate nutrition, wellbeing and a chance for survival.

Delivering a statement on behalf of the United Nations samily in Sierra Leone during a presser hosted in the conference room of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation last Friday, Dr. Kajali Paintal said breast milk does not require industry for production as it is created and consumed with minimal ecological footprint.

She noted that breast milk helps in the reduction of child mortality, provide nutrition needed to protect children against infectious diseases, as well as increasing mother-to-child bonding.

“At the environmental level, breastfeeding contributes to the reduction of industrial waste due to production of baby food and climate change. Breastfeeding is not just a woman’s job. At UN, we acknowledge the importance of, and endorse breastfeeding, for sustainable development,” she said.

Sierra Leone will today (1 August) joined other countries in the world to commence this year’s World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7 on the theme: “Breastfeeding: A Key Sustainable Development”.

Being organised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), World Health Organiaation (WHO) and UNICEF, the week seeks to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, which yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases such as pneumonia and fostering growth and development.

Dr. Paintal revealed that in Sierra Leone, out of every 100 children born, 41 miss out on exclusive breastfeeding for the first 180 days, leading to an increased risk of disease and death.

She urged that assistance and encouragement from healthcare providers, families, employers, communities and government be given to mothers so that they could provide their children with the best in life.

Also, Director of Food and Nutrition in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Aminata Shamit Koroma, said one of the objectives of this year’s celebration was to firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development.