| Wani Roslan |
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday launched World Breastfeeding Week 2019 at the Al-‘Afiah Hall of the MoH yesterday.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar officiated the ceremony as guest of honour.
The ceremony commenced with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, followed by a welcoming address by Acting Director of Health Services cum -chairperson of the ceremony Dr Hajah Rafidah binti Haji Gharfi.
The minister also launched a book titled The Code of Practice for Health Workers on Ending Inappropriate Marketing of Foods and Related Products for Infants and Young Children (0-5 years) in Brunei Darussalam.
A special keynote presentation titled ‘Protecting Infant Health – The Health Worker’s Code’ was delivered by Paediatric Consultant at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital Dr Hajah Rohayati binti Haji Mohd Taib.
In her keynote, Dr Hajah Rohayati underlined the importance of breastfeeding which she noted can prevent infections involving cardiovascular health, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, as well as disorders of the immune system and neurodevelopment.
She also shared the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation on breastfeeding in which infants are recommended to be breastfed within one hour of birth – exclusive of breastfeeding for the first six months of life – and thereafter provided nutritionally adequate and safe homemade complementary food while breastfeeding continues up to two years and beyond.
The event also included a sharing session from invited parents Dayangku Nurchichi Tia Dewi binti Pengiran Haji Chuchu and her husband Yasir bin Haji Ahmadiah, who spoke of the experience in breastfeeding their child.
Souvenirs were presented to the invited parents and presenter by the guest of honour, who later toured the mini exhibition.
Themed ‘Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding,’ World Breastfeeding Week 2019 highlights the three main roles of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding practices, namely parental social protection policies and legislation; parent-friendly workplaces in both formal and informal sectors; and parent-friendly values and gender-equitable social norms.
Some 400 people comprising pregnant mothers and husbands, mothers with small children, students of higher education institutions, members of the Council of Women Brunei Darussalam, local breastfeeding non-governmental organisation (NGO) HAWA and the Brunei Darussalam Nurses Association (Penjuru), as well as staff of the MoH attended the ceremony.
Permanent Secretary at the MoH Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the MoH Dr Haji Zulaidi bin Haji Abdul Latif, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Management) at the MoH Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin; directors and senior officials of the ministry were also present.
World Breastfeeding Week is marked every August 1.