Materia Medica Malaysiana

August 2, 2008

Lactation centres at all major hospitals

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:03 pm

Star: GOMBAK: The Health Ministry will soon set up lactation centres at all major hospitals in the country to promote the benefits of breastfeeding.
Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the low rate of breastfeeding in Malaysia was worrying where exclusive breastfeeding (without added water or other milk) fell to 14.5% after the first two months.
“This is not encouraging. The rate is low compared to the progress of Malaysia,” he said in his speech when launching a book on the code of ethics for the marketing of infant foods and related products yesterday.
Liow said the low rates of breastfeeding among Malaysian women was due to the false and widespread perception that breast milk must be mixed with water.
“A lack of awareness and expertise is contributing to the low rates,” he said.
He said World Health Organisation and United Nations Children’s Fund recommended infants be given breast milk exclusively until they were at least six months old.
He also said he would discuss with the Human Resources Ministry about creating workplace practices and policies that facilitates breastfeeding mothers such as breaks for them to breastfeed.
He added the ministry had been training officers to counsel and train mothers about breastfeeding since 1992.
“This phenomenon must not be taken lightly as it affects the health of the next generation,” he said.
He said the private sector has also heeded the call to stop promoting infant milk formulae that competes with breast milk in all private and government hospitals.
On the chikungunya viral fever, Liow said the ministry was on high alert to cut down the spread of the virus.
He said the ministry recorded the highest number of chikungunya cases this year with 141 confirmed cases out of 518 suspect cases in four states.

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