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JIS News

The importance of breast-feeding for the nutritional development of babies is the major focus of activities planned by the Portland Health Department to celebrate ‘Breast-feeding Week’ in the parish.The activities, which began with a church service at the New Testament Church of God in Port Antonio on September 18, will be highlighted by a health fair to be held at the Fair Prospect Health Centre on Thursday, September 22.
There will also be a roundtable discussion on the benefits of breast-feeding on the local cable television channels serving Portland, lectures and discussions on breast-feeding at the various clinics in the parish as well as with groups and organizations in a number of communities.
Valerie McLeary, Health Educator at the Portland Health Department told JIS News that the major objective of the week was the sensitisation of the people of the parish about the critical role breast-feeding played in early childhood development and the bonding created between mothers and the children they breast feed.
Mrs. McLeary said that while breast-feeding would be the major focus of the week, the health fair would feature other activities which were also important for the maintenance of good health, including blood sugar tests, pap smear, blood pressure tests, diet counselling and immunization.
She noted that the Portland Health Department was vigorously promoting exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months in the life of a child, and that there were signs that more mothers in the parish were embracing this practise.