- Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson has called for mothers to receive the necessary support
- Breastfeeding represents the best start to a child’s life for emotional development and overall health
- The Ministry will continue to provide the policy framework and other support necessary to improve the levels of breastfeeding
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson has called for mothers to receive the necessary support from everyone, in ensuring that their children are breastfed.
He said this is important as breastfeeding represents the best start to a child’s life for emotional development and overall health.
He said this year’s “breastfeeding week theme: ‘Breastfeeding support, working closely with mothers’, is “a call for us to support mothers and ensure that the right environment exists to facilitate breastfeeding in the way that is prescribed … breastfeeding is recognised in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights on the Child which emphasises that every child has the right to be breastfed”.
Dr. Ferguson’s message at the Ministry’s 2013 National Breastfeeding Week church service, held at the Hopewell Christian Deliverance Centre, in Hopewell, Hanover was read by the Regional Technical Director, Dr. Simone Spence.
“We have to step up our activities to ensure that mothers are properly guided and assisted with the requisite knowledge to ensure exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods at least up to two years of age,” he said.
The Health Minister stressed that breastfeeding should be the concern of everyone associated in the society.
“Mothers have to be supported by fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and every other family member and indeed by the community to ensure breastfeeding is done appropriately,” he stated.
He said the Ministry will continue to provide the policy framework and other support necessary to improve the levels of breastfeeding, which have been on the decline in the island since 1983.
“Let us all join in the circle of support for mothers through the family and social network, the workplace, the health care system and other arms of government. We all have a part to play in ensuring the optimal health of our children and therefore the development of our society,” he added.
National Breastfeeding Week 2013 is being observed from September 15 to 21.