GOOBJOOG NEWS|SOMALIA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged mothers to continue breastfeeding their babies despite the COVID-19 pandemic noting there was yet no link of transmission of the disease to babies.
In marking the World Breastfeeding Week starting Sunday, WHO Somalia Representative Dr. Mamunur Malik called on mothers to continue breastfeeding their babies even if they have contracted the disease.
“Even in the context of COVID-19, WHO recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate and continue breastfeeding, while implementing appropriate hygiene measures, such as wearing a medical mask, if available, to reduce the chances of droplets with COVID-19 being spread to her infant,” Malik said.
Noting the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the potential risks of COVID-19 transmission, the WHO official said, mothers just need to take precautionary measures.
“So far, active COVID-19 virus that can cause infection has not been detected in the breast milk of any mother with confirmed/suspected COVID-19.”
The WHO, UNICEF and Somali government in a joint statement Sunday at the start of the week-long World Breastfeeding campaign ‘called for a concerted effort to create an enabling environment for Somali mothers to breastfeed their babies to improve their health, nutritional status and overall wellbeing.’
“We are calling on all actors from the household level through community leadership up to policymakers and development partners to actively take breastfeeding as everyone’s responsibility,” said Dr Abdinasir Mukhtar Ibrahim, the director in the Ministry of Health said.
This year’s theme highlights the links between breastfeeding and survival, health and wellbeing of women, children and nations.
Somalia has registered 15,456 COVID-19 cases and 813 deaths as of Sunday.