DRC First Lady encourages exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age

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Kinshasa, August 11th, 2021 (CPA).– The First Lady of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi on Tuesday encouraged all mothers to give their children only breast milk, without water, during the 6 first months of their life.

The First Lady made the appeal during an official launching ceremony for the « Stronger with Breastmilk Only » campaign that she chaired at the Congo Lounge at the Pullman Hotel

 « In view of the multiple advantages linked to breastfeeding as noted by the experts, and as a mother, I can only urge other mothers to strictly give our children breast milk, without water, from birth. up to the age of 6 months, ”said Denise Nyakeru.

Breast milk, she continued, has benefits for the infant, mother and the community. It provides a good start in a child’s life with healthy brain development and increases IQ, she said.

She also said that breast milk also saves the lives of thousands of children under 5 and helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms.

« It is the only milk which contains antibodies and which strengthens the immune system against diseases », she said again, before asserting that breast milk provides all the nutrients and water to the child. during the first 6 months of his life.

Relaying the international theme of World Breastfeeding Week, the First Lady of the DRC invited healthcare providers, press organs, authorities at all levels, civil society, national and international NGOs, the private sector, fathers of families and all members of the community to support mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for their children up to the age of 6 months.

Ms. Denise Nyakeru acknowledged that malnutrition still remains a scourge in the DRC despite the efforts made by the government and technical and financial partners. This is how she accepted the demand of the children of the DRC, through a group of child reporters from Kinshasa, to make her the standard bearer in the fight against malnutrition. She recognized that this is a heavy responsibility.

On this occasion, these children presented the First Lady with a certificate of merit and excellence for the fight she is waging against malnutrition.

The Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, Dr Jean-Jacques Mbungani, for his part, explained that at the level of sub-Saharan Africa, the regional theme this year: « Stronger with breast milk only » is retained to promote and protect breastfeeding during the period from birth to the age of 6 months when breast milk should be preferred without the addition of other foods or water.

Speaking on behalf of all the partners who support the DRC in the fight against malnutrition, the UNICEF representative in the DRC, Edouard Beigbeder said that the partners are committed to contributing to the increase in the breastfeeding rate. exclusive breastfeeding by 2025, by participating in a determined way, in this campaign of advocacy and social and behavior change so that water and other liquids do not constitute a barrier to exclusive breastfeeding.

This campaign is organized on the sidelines of World Breastfeeding Week which is being held in the DRC from August 10 to 17, 2021 and whose international theme this year is: « Breastfeeding, a shared responsibility ».