By Suuna Pius
Health and wellness of a child is every parent’s desire. An unhealthy baby causes stressful living on the side of the parent or the care giver. It is therefore important for everyone to lookout for the proper care and treatment of a child right from the time of conception. It is crucial for a mother/caretaker to be educated on the care and treatment of every baby such that they can know how to handle pregnancy situations in terms of the health of the pregnant mother and the health and wellness of the baby right from the time she gets to know that there is conception in the womb; for example, as soon as a woman gets to know that she has a growing baby in her stomach, she has to start taking folic acid/iron.
Folic acid enables the prevention of the Neuro Tube Defects (NTDs) which are the serious birth defects of the spinal cord. In addition, the pregnant woman’s body needs iron to make extra blood (hemoglobin) for herself and the baby. Intake of proportionate amounts of Iron in the body can prevent a condition of too few red blood cells that given minute amounts of iron may likely cause tiredness, which are symptoms of iron deficiency called anemia.
After Birth, it is recommended that that the baby is immediately started on breast milk an hour after. Breast milk contains anti-bodies that help fight off viruses and bacteria that would attack the baby. In addition, breastfed babies have lower chances of getting asthma or allergies. Research shows that exclusively breastfed babies for the first six months of their lives without any formula have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and bouts of diarrhea.
It is upon facts like those that the Ministry of Health in Uganda together with other partners like World Vision, UNICEF, PATH International and other organizations convened at Mengo Primary School to mark the climax of the World Breastfeeding Week commemorations.