Only 67.4% of mothers in Sabah breastfeed babies

Dr Christina (third right) peering at a sleeping baby along with other mothers who were present at the Sabah-level World Breastfeeding Week closing ceremony yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Only 67.4 percent of mothers in Sabah breastfeed their babies exclusively up until they reach six months old.

“This means that out of 10 babies, only six are breastfed by their mother, while only four babies are nursed up until they are two years old,” said Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr. Christina Rundi yesterday.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Sabah-level World Breastfeeding Week, Dr Christina said that the department’s aim is to increase the percentage. She explained that through breastfeeding, mothers can assure that they are giving balanced nutrition to their babies and help their child avoid hunger.

“The baby can have access to enough nutrition even in the event of a crisis through breastfeeding. It does not burden the family’s income and is a low-cost feeding method that can contribute to the reduction of poverty rate,” she said.

She added that the event, which carried the theme ‘Breastfeeding: the foundation of life’ was aimed at inspiring mothers to breastfeed their babies and reminded that everyone has a role to ensure balance growth and development of children all over the world.

During the meeting with the media, Dr Christina also commented on the directive to establish nurseries, taska and child care centres at government buildings/departments to ease the burden of parents who are unable to look for babysitters for their children.

“It is good to have the centres, but at the same time, it is important to ensure that the people looking after the children have the credentials and are qualified to do so,” she said, adding that that prior to opening such centres, strict criteria must be met and for such centres to be strictly monitored.

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