Last Updated
Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:58 pm.
Promote breastfeeding - MoH

Governments should defend the lives of babies by saying no to the advertising of breast milk substitutes, Mphoyamodimo Mongati, a scientific officer at the Ministry of Health has said.
By Staff Writer Sat 20 Dec 2014, 23:31 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Promote breastfeeding - MoH








Hosting an Ethiopian health experts team here to benchmark on issues of infant and young children feeding, Mongati said Botswana is one of the first countries to adopt an international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes as provided by the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. This code prohibits advertising of breast milk substitutes and states that breastfeeding must be actively protected and promoted in all countries.

Mongati said the law is meant to protect mothers and babies who are exposed to media pressure to stop breastfeeding. Promotion of substitutes undermines the mother's inherent ability to breastfeed and exposes her baby to water-borne infections, dehydration and malnutrition caused by poor milk substitutes.

"Mothers should make a choice to buy milk substitutes. It is against the law for shops to advertise products to influence mothers' decisions not to breastfeed, and should not even sell the products at half price," she said.Addressing the press, Tesfaye Chuko, a nutrition officer with UNICEF in Ethiopia, said the Ethiopian government is in the process of adopting the law given the challenges it is facing. He said in Ethiopia, some companies go into hospitals to advertise breast milk substitutes while others give health officers their products to advertise on their behalf. He said even the labelling of the products is wrong.

Meanwhile, president of the Botswana Breastfeeding Association Dikoloti Morewane said due to pressures of fashion, lifestyle and influence of media like television, magazines and the internet, young mothers in particular, find breastfeeding challenging. In the 21st Century, young mothers are forced to work to keep up with life expenses. These mothers find working hours restrictive and force them to put their babies on breast milk substitutes. However, Morewane said young mothers can always milk themselves and leave milk for their babies at home. As for mothers who are struggling to produce enough breast milk, they should be taught how to stimulate their breast milk production.

Morewane said the media has put immense pressure on young women to have certain looks to be able to maintain relationships. This has compromised the mother's choice not to breastfeed. "One of the features to maintain as purported by the media is a cleavage. Most young women skip breastfeeding in attempt to preserve a cleavage.

"In doing so, these young mothers are compromising their babies' health because babies are immediately put on bottles, which have been proven to be one of the leading causes of diarrhoea and increased mortality rates among infants," he said.  The World Health Organisation commemorates World Breastfeeding Week during the first seven days of this month. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of the baby's life and to introduce nutritious soft meals thereafter to supplement the breast milk to the next two years or beyond.



Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Friday, 19 Dec 2014
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.4787
1 GBP = Pula   14.8368
1 EUR = Pula   11.6414
1 YEN = Pula   0.0794
1 ZAR = Pula   0.8211
1 Pula = USD   0.1055
1 Pula = GBP   0.0674
1 Pula = EUR   0.0859
1 Pula = YEN   12.6
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2179
Banner Image
Stock Exchange
STOCK EXCHANGE: Friday, 19 Dec 2014
DOMESTIC STOCKS
ABCH
714
BARCLAYS
343
BIHL
1151
CHOBE
427
CHOPPIES
406
CRESTA
89
ENGEN
950
FNBB
362
FSG
237
FURNMART
220
G4S
374
LETLOLE
215
LETSHEGO
266
NAP
217
OLYMPIA
20
PRIMETIME
260
RDCP
202
SECHABA
2810
SEFALANA
922
STANCHART
1258
TURNSTAR
208
WIL
310
IMARA
210
  • Previous
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Poster
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 19 Dec - Tuesday 23 Dec :::
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    John Wick
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Love, Rosie
    Penguins of Madagascar
  • Previous
    John Wick Poster
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 19 Dec - Tuesday 23 Dec :::
    John Wick
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Walking on Sunshine
    Penguins of Madagascar
  • Previous
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Poster
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 19 Dec - Tuesday 23 Dec :::
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    John Wick
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Penguins of Madagascar
    Love, Rosie
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1