The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has admonished corporate entities and major stakeholders to invest in the promotion and campaign towards exclusive breastfeeding.
According to the First Lady, it is important for “us to create the systems to offer the right kinds of support for breastfeeding to happen successfully and for as long as necessary to enable us derive all the benefits of breastfeeding for our children and our nation.”
Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking at the launch of the World Breastfeeding Week and Promotional Campaign under the theme; Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life at the Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.
Speaking to the gathering of health personnel and nursing mothers, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said “breastfeeding is the best feeding option for our babies, it can save lives and set the foundation for healthier and more prosperous societies.”
To achieve this, the First Lady and Head of the Rebecca Foundation, maintained that everybody can contribute by creating the enabling policies, health services and systems, workplace, family or community environment to let this happen in our dear country.”
On making breastfeeding a shared responsibility, the First Lady stated that, for all newborn babies to be given an early start to breastfeeding requires action on the part of multiple players, including governments, employers, healthcare institutions, healthcare workers, traditional leaders, families and communities.
“It is against this background that I wish to call on all gathered here and beyond to be part of the campaign to support breastfeeding and identify roles they can play to support women wherever they find themselves” she added.
She continued with a call on corporate employers to comply with the maternity protection provisions that support paid maternity leave and workplace policies, including creating baby friendly corners and spaces to express and store breast-milk at the workplace.
“I wish to commend corporate organizations who have already taken the initiative. Of particular mention are Barclays Bank High Street, UNICEF, TIGO-Airtel, Databank, General Electric, Ghana Airport- Domestic Terminal, the World Bank Accra Office and others who have been collaborating with the Ghana Health Service to promote breastfeeding at our workplaces.”
She touched on the importance of breastfeeding and its economic and developmental benefits, and called on all “to re-establish breastfeeding in Ghana as the cultural norm, thereby making it the natural choice for the vast majority of our mothers.”
Concluding, First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo expressed appreciation to all health workers, development partners and other stakeholders for their continuous dedication to the cause and entreated them “to do more by prioritizing breastfeeding promotion as an important public health intervention.”