How breastfeeding is a link to MDGs

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We are in the World Breastfeeding week which runs from 1-7 August.

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week in Kenya was launched on the 1st of August at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital by Mrs. Rachel Nyamae, Member of Parliament for Kitui South who is also the chair of the Parliamentary Health Committee. The theme for the week is Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – For Life! The event was supported by Save the Children, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, IBFAN among others. SAM_2130

There is a crucial link between breastfeeding and newborn survival and health. Breastfeeding is a baby’s ‘first immunization’ and thus the most effective and inexpensive way to saving a child’s life.  

I came across an interesting and informative newspaper article by Lina Njoroge on how breastfeeding is linked to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Below is a summary as was published on Sunday Nation of 3rd August 2014

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger:

Breastfeeding for two years and beyond provides nutrients and adequate energy, and can help prevent malnutrition. Breastfeeding is the most natural and low-cost of feeding babies. It is affordable for everyone as compared to artificial feeding.

Achieve universal primary education:

Breastfeeding and good quality complementary food significantly contribute to mental and cognitive development, and thus promote learning.

Promote gender equality and empower women:

Breastfeeding is the great equalizer, giving every child a fair start in life. It’s uniquely a right of women and as a society we should support them to breastfeed optimally.

Reduce child mortality:

Infant mortality could be readily reduced by about 13 per cent with improved breastfeeding and 6 per cent with improved complementary feeding. In addition, about 50-60 per cent of children under-5 mortality is linked to malnutrition, due to poor breastfeeding practices.

Improve maternal health:

Breastfeeding is associated with decreased maternal postpartum blood loss, breast cancer and the likelihood of bone loss post-menopause. Breastfeeding also contributes to contraception and child spacing, reducing maternal risks of pregnancies too close together for example anaemia.

Ensure environmental sustainability

Breastfeeding entails less waste when compared to formula production. With breastfeeding we have a healthy, viable, non-polluting, non-resource intensive, sustainable and natural source of nutrition and sustenance.

Combat HIV, Malaria and other diseases:

Exclusive breastfeeding together with antiretroviral therapy for mothers and babies can significantly reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child to low level.

So when you choose to breastfeed, you make an investment in your baby’s future, your health and you benefit the society as well.

Ya mama ya bamba au sio?

 breastfeeding 1

Unsafe abortion equals to maternal death

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Do you want to procure an abortion for any reason? Then kindly do it the safe way. I can see the shock or probably the anger written all over your eyes! I understand because abortion is a topic that should be given a complete blackout especially from a Christian like me.

So, before you throw rotten eggs at me, let me state clearly that I am Pro life and I believe that life starts at conception. Secondly, let me give you some serious statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO): an estimated 22 million abortions continue to be performed unsafely each year, resulting in the death of an estimated 47, 000 women and disabilities for an additional 5 million women. These statistics are not child play but they are shocking truths.

The sad reality is that nearly all unsafe abortions i.e. 98 percent occur in developing countries! In nearly all developed countries, safe abortions are legally available upon request or under broad social and economic grounds, and services are generally easily accessible and available.

abortion

According to WHO, unsafe abortion is a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy, carried out either by persons lacking necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards or both.

Article 26(4) of the Kenyan constitution explicitly permits abortion when “in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger or if permitted by any other written law”.

Although the constitution permits abortion to protect the life or health of a mother, women in Kenya continue to turn to unsafe procedures by unskilled practitioners due to lack of awareness of the law, stigmas against abortion, and fear of prosecution by the police.

Unsafe abortion has health consequences. These consequences depend on the facilities where abortion is performed; the skills of the abortion provider; the method of abortion used; the health of the woman and the gestational age of her pregnancy. The common consequence is rupturing of the uterus, killing the woman not to mention complications such as hemorrhage, sepsis, peritonitis and trauma to the cervix, vagina, uterus and abdominal organs.

Almost every one of deaths and disabilities due to unsafe abortions can be prevented through sexuality education, family planning and provision of safe, legal induced abortion and care for complications of abortion.

Unsafe abortion is one of the four main causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. It accounts for 13 percent of maternal deaths and 20 percent of the total mortality and disability burden due to pregnancy and childbirth, all of which can be prevented by ensuring that the abortion is performed by skilled providers using correct medical techniques and drugs, and under hygienic conditions.

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