The Chief Executive Officer of FOCUS 1000,Alhaji Mohamed Bailor Jalloh enlightened that FOCUS 1000 means the first 1000 days of a child’s life i.e. from inception to two years, the most crucial period in the life of a child, and affirmed that men are now taking the lead in taking care of children.
He reiterating that breast milk is very important, is the foundation for the development of a child, is the first mark late and appealed to women not to dispose of the first milk from the breast that is the most nutritious.
Alhaji Mohamed Bailor Jalloh furthered that breast milk is the best gift and urged women to breastfeed exclusively for six months without water or any other food reiterating that giving baby water before six months dilutes the breast milk and admonished women to eat nutritious food from pregnancy that would prepare them to breastfeeding.
Mr. Jalloh added that mark late is very important, that pregnant women must visit health centers monthly underlining that mark late and exclusive breast milk make babies strong.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Matron of the hospital urged the women to be attentive and sensitize others for the development of the country and asked the rhetoric question if a woman cannot breastfeed due to infected breasts.
The nutritionist at the hospital, Mrs. Mariama Kamara disclosed that if women do not breastfeed their children it can cause malnutrition underscoring that babies should not be given imported food and stressed that breastfeeding facilitates food security.
She continued that breast milk is readily available, that the breast produces milk mainly at night, that working or busy mothers can squeeze the breast milk into a cup and preserve it when they are not available to feed the child.
According to the nutritionist, breastfeeding has a lot of benefits, attributed stunted growth to poor sanitation, that lactating mothers can have sex after six weeks or 42 days but cautioned them to seek advice from medical personnel.
The representative of the Traditional Healers revealed that they support breastfeeding but warned that Traditional Birth Attendants who deliver pregnant women at home would be prosecuted, appealed to pregnant women to deliver in health centers as well as visit the centers once they get pregnant and appealed to them to sensitize others about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding.
Mohamed Samura, who represented civil society organizations, lamented that some women do not take care of their breasts, entreated them to always clean around the nipples and change their breast wear daily reiterating that women must eat nutritious food to be able to properly breastfeed.
He went on to underscore that breastfeeding, a natural gift, strengthens the bond between a child and mother.
Dilating on the Islamic view of breastfeeding, the representative of the Islamic Action Group, disclosed that Islam supports breastfeeding which he asserted is a blessing for which women who obey the teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohamed would go to heaven.
He added that some women are afraid to breastfeed because they do not want their breasts to fall over but observed that breastfeeding or not would not stop the breasts from falling down and reminded women to bring their children for mark late.
On the Christian perspective of breastfeeding, Reverend Kelfala Kanu quoted Numbers Chapter 11 verse 12 to emphasize that Christianity supports breastfeeding, that all the prophets were breastfed and encouraged men to prevail on their wives to visit health centers.
Distribution of leaflets on breastfeeding, presentation of gifts to some pregnant and lactating women, testimonies from three women on exclusive breastfeeding and presentation of the new executive for the community, climaxed the well-attended ceremony.