DHA starts 2nd breastfeeding programme
Dubai, January 8, 2013
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has begun its second intensive training programme to encourage healthcare physicians and nurses to engage in breastfeeding promotion and protection, to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies.
Dr Fatima Olama, head of child health unit, primary healthcare sector at the DHA said the programme, which began this month, will go on for one year and will be conducted for two days, every month.
She said that the aim of the programme is for medical staff to be well trained so that they can inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding, support mothers to maintain breastfeeding and encourage exclusive and continued breastfeeding as well as guide mothers with appropriately timed introduction of complimentary foods.
Participants of the programme will get a certificate upon successful completion, she said.
“Breastfeeding has several health benefits for the mother and child. It is known to help prevent babies from developing respiratory illnesses, recurrent ear infections and other health problems. It is also linked to reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome,” Dr Al Olama said.
“There are several proven health benefits of breastfeeding to the mother and child. But in order to ensure that more women breastfeed, we need to provide them with support right from the pregnancy stage. Physicians and nurses have an opportunity to emphasise breastfeeding education beginning with preconception visits and continuing through prenatal care, delivery and postpartum care.”
“Encouragement from a physician and other family members is an important factor in the initiation of breastfeeding.”
The first breastfeeding training programme took place last year and was attended by 50 physicians and nurses from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 60 per cent of the participants received a breastfeeding consultant certification at the end of the programme. – TradeArabia News Service