JIS News

The Westmoreland Health Department yesterday (Sept. 20) staged an awareness road march in the town of Savanna-la-mar, as part of activities to mark Breastfeeding Week.
Gerard Miller, Assistant Health Education Officer, told JIS News that more than 150 students from some seven schools along with their teachers, parents and members of the general public, participated in the march, which started at Great George’s Street and culminated at Independence Park.
“At the culminating venue.we had a presentation by Dr. Karen Simpson, a Pediatrician at the Savanna-la-mar Hospital, looking at the whole issue of breastfeeding, and the benefits to be derived from it”, he said. The students also gave relevant performances at the end of the march.
According to Mr. Miller, one of the main aims of Breastfeeding Week was to heighten awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and to persuade more mothers to adopt the practice.
He said that adolescents, children and fathers were being encouraged to support the mothers’ efforts to breastfeed.
Mr. Miller told JIS News that the Westmoreland Health Department, during the week, would be recognizing those mothers, who breastfed exclusively. “We intend to motivate and to encourage our lactating mothers to continue to breastfeed, because we recognize that in order for this behaviour to continue, we need to recognize the persons who have breastfed exclusively,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, in his message for Breastfeeding Week, appealed to health workers and manufacturers of breast milk substitutes, to re-examine the guidelines outlined in the Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
The international code, which was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981, sets out the guidelines for the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, by regulating the marketing of all breast milk substitutes.
Breastfeeding Week is being observed from September 17 to 23 under the theme: ‘Code Watch: 25 years of protecting breastfeeding’.
A number of activities are taking place across the island to mark the week including church services, special clinics, presentations at various institutions, exhibitions and displays.