Breastfeeding mothers join UN call to fight poverty
By Alice Nicart
Tacloban City (19 October) -- Hundreds of breastfeeding mothers joined recently in the three-day global mobilization which aimed to send a loud and clear message to fight poverty.
Spearheaded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Eastern Samar Provincial Management Unit, the province participated on October 15-17, with the rest of the world in observing "Stand United, Take Action", to manifest its decisive response to the urgent call to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Among other activities, Sulat and Llorente towns held a synchronized breastfeeding activity where mothers, some were even accompanied by their husbands, breastfed and afterwards, yelled, "Stand United, Fight Poverty".
Asked how she can help in fighting poverty, Ma. Lourdes Alido, 19, of LLorente, claimed that by breastfeeding her baby, she can greatly help her husband in saving money for other household expenses, because they do not have to buy infant formula which is too expensive. Besides, she added that her baby is healthy with her safe and most nutritious milk, which assures her that they will not be seeing the doctor often.
Roel Andag, UNFPA Programme Coordinator advised the mothers to continue and disregard the many myths that hound breastfeeding, because aside from the economic reward and health benefits for their babies, they are also assured of a natural contraceptive which helps in spacing the arrival of new births in the family.
Specifially, UNFPA addresses MDG-5 which seeks to improve maternal health, and reduce maternal mortality rate.
Andag reported that 11 mothers die everyday in the country due to complicated birth deliveries. He said that either the mother is too young, too old, or delivers too often, too sick or has delivered too many.
"Salit, pag-family planning kamo, kay su-su ngani it iyo pag-aanak, nakokompromiso iton iyo maupay nga panlawas," (That's why, practice Family Planning, because when you get pregnant and deliver a baby too often, your health is compromised). "Also, you should only deliver in a facility-based room, with the help of a skilled health attendant," Andag added.
The MDGs include: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development. (PIA-Eastern Samar) [top]