From: Rene LAKE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gabon Takes Steps To Encourage Breast Feeding
Panafrican News Agency, 3 November 1995
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (PANA) - Gabonese health authorities have embarked on a project to promote babby- friendly- hospitals whose objective is to encourage mothers to breast-feed their infants instead of relying on artificial milk.
Medical experts in this central African countries have been holding seminars aimed at training health workers in public, semi-public and private hospitals on ways to promote breast-feeding, as a preventive measure against infant mortality.
The last of such training meetings ended in Libreville, the capital Tuesday, to conclude the series.
The seminars were organised by the health ministry in conjuction with UNICEF and the Gabonese Association for the promotion of infant feeding.They took place in the Provinces of Ogooue (West), Woleu-Ntem (North), Nyanga (South) and Ogooue (East).
According to Mrs. Vore Oyono Germaine, a member of the project's steering committee, methods exist to enable mothers breast-feed while continuing to breast-feed their infants.
These methods involve the extraction of milk from the mother's breasts and conserving it for several hours before a baby can feed on it.
She said it was up to the health ministry to educate urban and rural dwellers on the positive side of breast-feeding and the disadvantages of artificial milk to enable them make a rational choice.
While the majority of rural women breast-feed their infants, the reverse is the case with urban working who complain they cannot often leave their office work to go and give breast milk to their infants back home.
Some deliberately stop their babies from breast-feeding for fear that the process would make them look older.
-0- PANA AGP-GAB BNN/MP/JNE/PBM 1Nov95