News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Aweil North marks World Breastfeeding Day

By Hou Akot Hou

Health Officials in Aweil North County of Northern Bahr El Gazal state on Wednesday celebrated the World Breast feeding Day.

Medics in the area say stakeholders such as Concern International, and other NGOs including Ministry of health staff, marched to the county headquarter, Gokmachar, to commemorate the day.

Philip Marach, a medical officer based in the county told the media on Saturday that the celebration was part of an awareness campaign on the importance of breast feeding new born babies for complete six month period.

“We wanted to enlighten the communities about the importance of breast feeding the newly born children for six months,” the medical officer said.

He added that because the digestive system of the child is still weak, eating other foods apart from breast milk causes them to fall ill.

“Until the stomach is much stronger, they can’t eat other edible foods” he noted.

Marach says that the awareness campaign attracted more than one hundred people to hear from the experts and that the gatherings were effective for the grassroots communities.

“The attendees expressed words of acceptance as their stereotypes are against such scientific knowledge on childcare. They heeded to the call to breast feed children till six month period comes to an end,” he advised.

A woman who was in attendance, Abuk Garang, said on phone that they were happy with the move taken by the health Ministry to give such messages in the grassroots.

“Our other women do give cow’s milk even after a week ends during birth. This is something that we want to caution about mothers about and as I work in the health clinic. I get a lot of advice and doing local seminars and meetings I extend to them in good faith,” she advised.

Breastfeeding Day is always being celebrated on every 2nd of August annually.

Mothers in most parts of the rural areas in the country do rely on cultural practices of childcare which bring about infections without complying with the health methods that medics do urge them to strictly follow.

Medical professional always advice mothers to sleep with babies under mosquito nets to avoid catching malaria. They should also avoid drinking unclean water and eating unwell foods, which usually causes typhoid.

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