By Elizabeth Nyaguyo
UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) commemorated the World Breast feeding Week in Harare as a way to protect the practice of exclusive breastfeeding until 2years.
Breastfeeding is the cornerstone of the infant and young child survival, nutrition and development and maternal health. Breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, followed by continued neonatal survival and reduce morbidity and are recommended by WHO.
Speaking during the commemoration, WHO technical adviser under Family Reproductive Health Zvanaka Sithole said that breast feeding mothers should get vaccinated since they are no reports that was reported showing the dangers of these COVID -19 vaccination jabs.
“Who recommends the use of COVID -19 vaccines in lactating women as in other adults, therefore healthy individual currently breastfeeding or expressing milk can receive vaccines.
“Research on COVID -19 did not include breastfeeding women or consider the effects 0f non-replicating vaccines on them or on the breasted child.
‘’Who recommends that mothers who are vaccinated continue breastfeeding after vaccination.” said Sithole.
Speaking during the same programme, the UNICEF Nutrition Specialist Kudzai Mukudoka Mudukuti said that as an Organization they recommend a newly born baby to have mothers’ milk for the first 6months of age and nothing else.
“We encourage that for the first hour these babies should have exclusively breast milk and no water, no oil and no what for the first six months.
“We are encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies particular one breast until it is empty because changing a child from one breast to the other is not health because the child will be drinking water and not proteins and fats that is water to water.” said Mudukuti.
She also tasked journalists to report such issues so as to make sure that lactating mothers get accurate information.
“As media practitioners you can be working as our Vanyai on behalf of us.
“Media practitioners can protect and support breast feeding by working with expects to relay unbiased and current information.” she said.
The Nutritionist at the Ministry of Health and Child Care Chj Chikanda said that there are policies promoting and protecting Breastfeeding among lactating mothers.
“Zimbabwe is a breastfeeding country guided by S1 46 of 1998 Infant and Young Child Nutrition regulations mothers should breast feed regardless of HIV and COVID -19 status.
“ILO Maternity Protection Convention.” said Chikanda.