PETALING JAYA, 1 SEPTEMBER 2017 –Breastfeeding, a powerful component of child survival strategy outlined by international organisations, was celebrated recently at KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital (KPJDSH).
Parents and their children were among those who gathered at the hospital’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations that was also attended by Chief Executive Officer Fawziah Muhammad, Chief Nursing Officer Jaliah Mat Jani and Operations And Clinical Manager Dr Ellyana Ismail.
The event included talks by experts and non-governmental organisation representatives on the advantages of breast milk and fun activities for children.
KPJDSH Consultant Paediatrician And Neonatologist Datuk Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, in his opening speech, said breastfeeding prevented six million deaths each year.
He added that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nation Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that an additional two million lives could be saved if mothers were to exclusively breastfeed their babies.
“Apart from saving lives, breast milk confers many benefits to babies and mothers, it is cost savings to the family and national economy and it is environmental friendly” he added.
Dr Musa, who is also the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative committee chairman said KPJDSH had been accredited internationally by WHO, Unicef and the Health Ministry as a Baby-Friendly Hospital since 2004.
KPJDSH passed its fifth assessment in July 2017 and is both a Baby-Friendly and Mother-Friendly Hospital.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually from 1 to 7 August. It seeks to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies globally.
It is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, a global network of individuals and organisations.
The theme this year is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together” and it is the 25th year that the week is being held.
Nuha Khalid, KPJDSH breastfeeding support group volunteer, in her talk, said she breastfed all her five children until they were two years old.
One was born premature.
“I practised tandem breastfeeding, which means breastfeeding two babies at different ages,” she said.
“Mothers’ breast milk among others, consists of many living components, like hormones, enzymes, growth factors, macrophages, leucocytes which enhances the baby’s growth, defences and cognitive function which are not found in infant formulas.”
“When we talk about breastfeeding, it is actually more than feeding a hungry baby. It is about love, it is about giving a sense of security to the baby. It makes the baby feel wanted.”
She also said that successful breastfeeding requires the participation of the whole community including the support from husbands.