Modou Phall, the executive director of National Nutrition Agency (NaNA),) has
said that breastfeeding is a universal solution that gives everyone a fair
start in life and lays the foundation for good health and survival of children
Faal was speaking on Wednesday during the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week on the theme: “Breastfeeding Foundation of Life.”
The commemoration which was organised by the National Nutrition Agency in partnership with The Gambia government and UNFPA was held at the NaNA conference hall, in Bakau.
The programme was meant to inform the media about the importance of breastfeeding and also to help disseminate information to the public
He further said that breastfeeding helps to prevent malnutrition in all its forms, ensures food security for infants and young children, noting that it also helps to bring people and nations out of hunger and the poverty cycle.
Mr. Phaal noted that early initiation of breastfeeding, prelacteal feeding, and late initiation of breastfeeding as well as exclusive breastfeeding are a major problem The Gambia.
“When we really started, we had a lot of battle to do. We were talking with medical doctors, nurses and other medics to convince them that they didn’t need lactogen and some of the things they gave to the babies but only dry water instead,” he said.
He added that breastfeeding is a foundation for life, noting that after the womb the life of a person starts. He therefore said that protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is vital to a more sustainable world.
According to him, they started celebrating World Breastfeeding day 26 years ago (1992) when WHO and UNICEF came with the global strategy for infant and young child feeding.
He said that this has been followed by the baby friendly initiative, adding that the whole idea was to ensure that breastfeeding was protected, promoted and supported. He added that they have host of evidences to show that breastfeeding is very important because it builds the foundation of a child
For his part, the director of Health Promotion and Education, Modou Njai expressed delight to be part of the celebration as a ministry. He noted that this is a very unique celebration as they are going with stakeholders for the entire one month celebration to making sure that the importance of breastfeeding is disseminated.
He said that they will continue working with the media in disseminating information in relation to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.
Sanjally Trawally, deputy director, Health Promotion and Education said that the purpose of the meeting was to observe the breastfeeding week.
He thus urged the media to transmit the information to the general public.