Poor breastfeeding damages mental faculty of babies – Alliance

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Health Breast Feeding
Breast Feeding workshop

The Child Protection Alliance Ghana (CPA Ghana) on Monday said poor breastfeeding and nutrition in the formative years of children could cause irreversible damage to the physical growth and mental development of the child.

CPA is a network that works to protect, promote and support child-related activities in the country.

The poor and sub-optimal breastfeeding practice, the alliance noted, put infants at a higher risk of compromised health and malnutrition, which increased infant illnesses and child mortality.

“Breast milk contains antibodies that build body immunity against virus and bacteria among babies and infants,” Mr Hussien Rahman, the Chairperson of the Interim Steering Committee, stated.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani to mark this year’s celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) Campaign, Mr Rahman noted, “breastfeeding is the ideal way of feeding babies, offering them the nutrients they need in the right balance that protect them against childhood diseases.”

The WBW is celebrated on August 1 to 7, annually to highlight the huge benefits of breastfeeding among infants and babies, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction and food security.

This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility,” aligned with thematic area two on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It highlights links between breastfeeding and survival, health and well-being of women, children and nations.

Mr Rahman indicated studies showed exclusive breastfeeding reduced the risk of overweight or obesity in children by 13 per cent that helped to fight chronic diseases.

“Therefore, intensifying awareness on breastfeeding is not just a sole responsibility of the woman, but rather a shared and collective responsibility of the entire society,” he said.

Mr Rahman explained the CPA Ghana has commenced implementation of a two-year breastfeeding initiative campaign to promote exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in the country.

Tilted “Breastfeeding Community Project,” the project aims at offering a free breastfeeding support centre with up to date knowledge and guidance for breastfeeding mothers and to encourage them to breastfeed their babies.

The project would further inform the general public about the importance of breastfeeding and educate mothers on exclusive breastfeeding.

CPA Ghana is a network of a group of like-minded civil society organisations (CSOs) to champion child protection.

Established in 2020, the Alliance is made up of twelve registered CSOs spread across the country with the vision to coordinate and support the implementation of child rights governance programmes to improve the well-being of children.

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