The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has partnered the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to advocate for baby-friendly environmenst for lactating mothers at workplaces.
The objective is to promote the agenda ‘Start Right, Feed Right – From Birth to Two Years’, which educates on the need for proper nutritional care for infants.
Speaking at a media workshop in Accra, Friday, the Nutritional Officer of UNICEF, Jevaise Aballo, disclosed that statistics prove that a higher percentage of children suffer from malnutrition.
Describing the situation as worrying, he said over 20% of newborns suffer from either stunting, thinning, underweight or anemia because work prevents mothers from giving the right portions of meals to wards.
This, he said, could be corrected if provisions are made for mothers to bring along, and breastfeed their babies in the offices.
He proposed that each employer provides a breastfeeding corner with adequate privacy where mothers can attend to their wards after they have exhausted their three-month maternity leave.
“It has so many benefits to employer and employee. Definitely, every mother is concerned about the health and nutritional status of their children. It will be very important that they have children close to them and take breaks to breastfeed them as they are working.
“To the employer, you know if you don’t breastfeed, the child tends to fall sick and the caregiver will tell you today I can’t come to the office. It comes at a cost and a loss to the employer,” he lectured.
Adding her voice, Regional Nutrition Officer of the GHS, Faustina Vimariba Tour, explained that breastfeeding is the magic any child needs to attain full development.
Exclusive breastfeeding, she said, has the potential to provide antibodies that prevent the baby from malaria, infections, and malnourishment.
Madam Tour spoke against forcing babies to consume meals. She urged mothers to be patient with children and feed them with love.
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