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Gambia observe World Breast Feeding week

Aug 3, 2010, 3:18 PM

The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in collaboration with UNICEF last Friday held a press briefing at the NaNA conference hall in observance of World Breastfeeding Week.

Speaking at the press conference, the Executive Director of NaNA, Pa Modou Phall said August 1st marks the beginning of the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, observed throughout the world and The Gambia also joins the rest of the international community to celebrate the week long event. He noted that as a customary in The Gambia, the whole month of August was adopted by NaNA to celebrate this important activity.

He stated that the theme of this year's celebration is "Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps, the Baby Friendly Way."

This year's celebration, Phall added will take the forms of breastfeeding dialogue with major employers, open community field days in the six health regions in the country, celebration by health facilities implementing the baby friendly hospital initiative, symposium by NaNA child club and sensitisation programmes on radios and TV.

He pointed out that the aim of this year's theme is to draw attention to the role of the ten steps in improving breastfeeding rates and to renew action by health systems, health care providers and communities to make breastfeeding the easy choice for women. He stated that the theme also seeks to inform people everywhere of the risks of artificial feeding, and the role of breastfeeding for children's development, lifelong health and the health of the mothers.

Commenting on the importance of breastfeeding, Malang Fofana, Programme Manager NaNA said breastfeeding helps the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy position, help to stop bleeding after delivery and creates love and bonding.

On the benefits of breastfeeding, Mr. Fofana said breastfeeding is good for the physical growth and development of the child, noting that it delays new pregnancy and prevent anaemia.

Other speakers at the occasion include UNICEF deputy representative and the officer-in-charge Meritxell Relano Arana.