Papua New Guinea
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Madang PHA observes World Breastfeeding Week

Madang Provincial Health Authority, with support from UNICEF, has joined many health partners around the world to observe World Breastfeeding Week.

The PHA has been conducting awareness activities throughout the week. 

Health Promotion Officer, Bernadette Imbosi, said the aim of the promotional activities is to encourage and promote the best practice of infant feeding – breastfeeding.

The promotional or health awareness on breastfeeding focuses on awareness through radio and awareness at several health facilities, which started on Monday at the Madang General Hospital’s children’s outpatient and will continue throughout the week. 

Senior Medical Officer Pediatrics, Dr Jimmy Aipit, said the practice of mothers breastfeeding their babies is a great concern as more and more mothers turn to infant formula instead.

“Many mothers today are giving tea, infant formula and other liquids after birth, which are not good for the baby’s immune system,” Dr Aipit said.

“We are seeing a lot of children coming to the hospital with all kinds of diseases because our practice of breastfeeding is absent. Breastfeeding is important for the baby yet we are not seeing a lot of mothers exclusively breastfeeding, meaning giving babies only breastmilk until the baby is 6 months old.”

Dr Aipit also appealed to fathers, family members and parents to ensure that breastfeeding should be practiced as it is important; there is no cost involved and it is nutritious for the baby’s development.

Several mothers at the health facilities where the awareness was conducted applauded the initiative, saying such an important awareness must be conducted in communities to inform and educate them.