Zimbabwe: Harare Residents Celebrate Breastfeeding Week

HARARE residents have joined the world in celebrating breastfeeding week, which which seeks to promote breast feeding across the globe.

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is marked annually in the first week of August and represents a global celebration of breastfeeding efforts including breastfeeding promotion, support, education, research, progressive trends and normalising breastfeeding as the gold standard of infant nutrition.

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) said the commemorations, running under the theme, “Protect Breastfeeding: A shared responsibility”, come at a time when most council clinics which provide maternal and post-natal health care services have been overwhelmed due to the mass exodus of health personnel triggered by poor working conditions.

“The situation has been further worsened by the advent of Covid-19 which has seen a deterioration of post-natal and maternal health care services as Covid-19 has become a ‘priority’ due to its devastating effects,” said CHRA.

“Provision of quality post-natal health care services is essential in protecting breastfeeding as breastfeeding is one of the effective ways to ensure child growth, health and survival.

“We urge lactating mothers, employers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to take the breastfeeding agenda more seriously especially after the disruption of breastfeeding by the advent of Covid-19.”

CHRA said employers must improve working conditions for women by providing spaces and times at the workplace for women to breastfeed their children.