By Edward Makuzva
Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa has urged workplace, formal or informal sectors to create an enabling environment that allow time for women to breast feed during working hours.
Addressing delegates yesterday,at Zimbabwe Grounds, Highfield at the official launch of the 2017 World breastfeeding Week, Minister Parirenyatwa said the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding is a collective societal responsibility shared by all us all.
Dr Parirenyatwa said family- friendly workplace initiatives and crèches should be located at or nearby the workplace
“Zimbabwe is a breast feeding nation, with 98 out of every 100 children being ever breast fed at some point in their lives.
“The challenge however is when it comes to adhering to the recommendations for optimum breast feeding.
“About half all the children are given breast milk only 2 months of their lives. This predisposes children to infections and compromises their growth and development”, said Minister Parirenyatwa.
The Health Minister added, health workers should provide support mothers with breast feeding difficulties so that they are able to breast feed successfully.
He said these are a just a few examples of what we can do as a nation to support and sustaining breast feeding together.
The minister highlighted that the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) of 2015 reveals that only 35 out of every 100 children are being fed the appropriate number of for their age while only 28 out of 100 are fed from at least 4 food groups.
Breast feeding provides with optional nutrition and protection against infections for infants.
The day was celebrated under the theme “Sustaining Breast feeding Together”.
The breast feeding week is celebrated worldwide as an annual occasion, recognising the important role of breast feeding in the growth and development of infants and young children as well as for economic growth and development.