The Queen of Lesotho speaks during WBW2015 as she continues her role as the country’s patron for breastfeeding
From 1 – 7 August 2015, the World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated in Lesotho which included a launch organised by the Ministry of Health. Lesotho’s Queen, Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, who is also the national patron of breastfeeding, was the guest speaker on the day. Thithidi Diaho, a nutritionist from the Ministry of Health told journalists from Informative News that as part of celebrations that the Queen will tour villages whose inhabitants are factory workers, domestic workers and those employed in the informal sector.
“We have seen that there is a gap that needs to be closed in factory workers of mothers who are unable to give their babies enough space and time to breastfeed their babies,” – Thithidi Diaho, Nutritionist, Ministry of Health
Central activities of the day included galvanising multi-dimensional support from all sectors to enable women everywhere to work and breastfeed safely and adequately. Speeches promoted employers to become aware that breastfeeding women need to be supported in order to continue breastfeeding their children. The event also informed people about the latest in global Maternity Protection entitlements, and raised awareness of the need to strengthen related national legislation and implementation.
Wilfred Nkhoma, a World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Lesotho announced that Lesotho has exceeded the 50% target of exclusive breastfeeding set by all WHO member states during the 2012 World Health Assembly. He said that Lesotho has an estimated exclusive breastfeeding rate of 67% which means Lesotho is among the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have exceeded the 50% target.
As part of her role as the country’s Patron of breastfeeding, Lesotho’s Queen has recently appealed to Basotho women to engage in exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months and beyond in a bid to have healthy and well fed babies who are free from diseases.
“Exclusive breastfeeding means giving the baby only its mother’s milk without any other supplements” – Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, Queen of Lesotho
She appealed to the women that they should shun away from using powdered milk that is sold in shops and to prefer mother’s milk as it is healthy.
“Being a patron for breastfeeding in the country, I have visited various districts in the country to sensitise the community about importance of breastfeeding” – Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, Queen of Lesotho
Queen Seeiso added that she was proud that Lesotho is doing well in breastfeeding, saying that in 2004, 34% of mothers were breastfeeding their babies while this figure rose in 2009 where 54 % of them (mothers) were breastfeeding their babies and that
Learn more about the Queen of Lesotho: Star Africa
Click here to learn more about 2015 World Breastfeeding Week activities across SUN Countries and Networks.