60% of women in West Pokot don’t breastfeed - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 6 July 2020

60% of women in West Pokot don’t breastfeed

Mother's milk is best but more than 60 per cent of women in West Pokot county don’t breastfeed their children. They don't have time.

“Most parents are ignorant, that’s why most husbands don’t want to support their wives in ensuring their children are exclusively breastfed,” Kapenguria County Hospital medical superintendent Dr David Karuri said.

He asked leaders to educate the community on the importance of breastfeeding for children’s health.

The Kenya Demographic Health Survey indicates most women do most of the work in the family so they’re too busy to sit down and breastfeed their children.

They do housework, find food, feed their families and take care of livestock.

What are their husbands doing while their wives work?

Lack of breastfeeding has increased child mortality since children lack important antibodies and nutrition contained in mother’s milk.

Cornelia Chenangat says women do so much housework and other work that they cannot produce a lot of milk.

Most women in the community don’t get any help, unless perhaps from older children.

“There is a lot of work on our shoulders. Most of our husbands don’t help us get food to feed our family. This forces many women to abandon their children and look for food to feed the whole family,” she said.




West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo opens lactition room at Kapenguria County Hospital on Saturday, July 4. .



Governor John Longyangapuo said a 2017 survey indicated only four out of 10 children are exclusively breastfed in West Pokot, compared to the national average  of six out of 10.

He ws opening a lactation room at Kapenguria County Hospital on Saturday, July 4 

“By 2025 we want to ensure 80 per cent of our mothers exclusively breastfeed their children,” he said.

He thanked the Health department and Action Against Hunger for establishing the lactation station at the hospital. It will help both patients and staff.

“I urge other employers and institutions both private and public to establish lactation stations in workplaces and provide breastfeeding breaks,” Longyangapuo said.

The governor said the county had made great strides against malnutrition.

Stunting levels have significantly declined from 45.9 per cent to 35.1 per cent, though it is still above the national average of 26 per cent, he said

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