Dr. (Mrs) Charity Sarpong, the Eastern Regional Health Director, has made a strong case for exclusive breast-feeding, saying, it could prevent diabetes and hypertension.
She said research had shown that babies fed exclusively on breast milk for six months were likely not to suffer from these non-communicable diseases later in their lives.
The other highpoint was that they would grow up healthier and perform better in school.
She was speaking at the launch of this year’s national breast feeding week celebration in Koforidua.
Dr. Sarpong therefore encouraged lactating mothers to heed the call to them to give their babies’ breast milk.
She invited fathers to join the campaign and said there was economic gain as the family would be saved money that would otherwise had gone into the purchase of baby formula.
Mrs. Mavis Ama Frimpong Gati, the Regional Minister, expressed strong backing for the suggestion that maternal leave should be extended from three to six months.
She said that would provide space for mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies.
She indicated that the production of the required manpower to drive the nation’s development, started with exclusive breast feeding and rallied the people to support the campaign.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, urged mothers to attend post-natal clinic and to sleep under treated bed nets with their babies.
That, he said, was vital to reduce the high child mortality rate. For every 1,000 babies born in the country, 60 could die by the celebration of their first birthday and the figure would rise to 80 by the end of their second year.