Aster DM Healthcare, Qatar, celebrated World Breastfeeding Week (Waba) to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers, and called attention to local efforts to support breastfeeding.
Waba is a global awareness campaign celebrated every year from August 1-7 to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocent Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, Unicef and other organisations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Aster conducted a series of activities. Sessions were specially crafted to educate parents about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding from 0-6 months old. The inauguration of the Waba activities was held at Aster Hospital, Doha by the Ministry of Public Health official Dr Reda Taha Abou Elazab, nursing educator Annamma, Aster’s Dr Vinod Jacob (specialist – Paediatrics and Neonatology), Dr Mahesh Patel (senior manager – Quality Assurance), Priya Poonkudi (senior manager – Hospital Operations), nursing head Regina Pinto and other staff.
During the inaugural speech, Dr Elazab stressed that breastfeeding for babies enhances their immunity and mental health apart from reducing digestive problems and possibilities of chronic diseases.
Breastfeeding also decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It is estimated that increased breastfeeding could avert hundreds of maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.
Talking on the activities, Dr Mahesh Patel said, “Aster Hospital is closely working with the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar to promote the importance of family-friendly policies to enable breastfeeding and help parents nurture and bond with their children in early stages of their life, when it matters most.”
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