WORLD'S BREASTFEEDING WEEK.
In Tanzania, breastfeeding week was commemorated in Dodoma at the national level however Shinyanga and Lindi hosted such event for the first time ever. Commemorations kicked off on 1st August and culminated on the 7th of August in Kishapu District council. Save the ChildrenTanzania has organised celebrations in different districts and key objective is to remind and educate people in communities the importance of breastfeeding new born children for the first six months of their lives in order for them to grow healthy physically and mentally.
All children need mother’s breast feeding constantly for six months without eating anything else. This helps a child to get necessary nutrients in proper proportions, protecting a child from different diseases.
This key message is also very important to all mothers, women, caretakers, fathers and community at large in the selected regions mainly because stanting in children is highly prevailing and solution to poor nutrition that causes stanting is found in how new born children, up to the age of 6 months and then up to 2 years are fed at home.
Speaking at the event, Petro Mahuwi, Project officer from Save the Children Tanzania, Shinyanga said that celebrating breast feeding is very important to Shinyanga communities because through this they will receive knowledge about importance of breastfeeding to a child and the effects when a child does not feed on mother’s milk alone in the early stages of life.
There will be free learning to all people and nutrition counselling on breast feeding will be given freely to all during the month of August.
Shinyanga is among high HIV / AIDS prevalence, high rates of stunting regions, also with under-five mortality rates being on a higher side. There are issues of below average levels of medical staffing requirements, high numbers of orphans and vulnerable children with only about one third of women giving birth at health facilities.