89 PER CENT OF INFANTS BREASTFEED: BHATNAGAR
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has recorded an 89 per cent of infants continue to breastfeed into the first two years after birth.
Assistant Minster for Health and Medical Services, Venna Bhatnagar, made the comment while launching the breastfeeding week and nutrition month in Tavua hospital on Monday. “The Ministry has noted an improvement in exclusive breastfeeding rates in Fiji,” she said.
This is according to the latest national nutrition survey 2015 that indicated an increase from 40 per cent in 2014 to 53 per cent last year. “Also, the median duration o0f breastfeeding has improved from seven months in 2014 to nine months in 2015,” she said.
“Breastfeeding is the best food for newborns and infants as it provides them all nutrients required for healthy development.
“Breastfeeding milk was also readily available and affordable because of the antibodies breast milk contains that protects infants from diarrhoea and pneumonia.”
Mrs Bhatnagar is urging all mothers to breastfeed their children to avoid health risks associated with bottle feeding.
“These risks include asthma allergies, ear infection, diabetes, children cancers and respiratory infection,” she said.