Mothers throughout the country are being encouraged about the importance of breastfeeding this week.
The message comes as the nation commemorates Breastfeeding Week, which was officially opened yesterday in front of the T.A.T.T.E building.
The Police Marching band led a parade that included five floats from C.C.C.S Utuali’i, C.C.C.S Toamua, C.C.C.S. Vaitele-Uta, Women Committee from Ti’avea and Lalelei from Apia.
The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, highlighted the advantages of breastfeeding.
“For baby, this helps protect against diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, diarrhea, childhood diabetes and childhood obesity and malnutrition,” Tuitama said.
“For your family, it saves money to be used for other family needs, there is no need to worry about milk supplies during natural disasters that frequent the islands and lower health costs because there will be less visits to the doctor or hospital.
“For working mothers and employers, there will be less time of the mother because there is less worry for baby.
“For Samoa, it reduces overseas spending in infant formula and baby products such as milk bottles and reduces health care costs for treatment of cancers, diabetes, malnutrition…”
Tuitama also spoke about the linkage between breastfeeding and sustainable development.
“We also see that the Samoa challenge of beating diabetes lies within the ensuring that this breastfeeding practice continues in Samoa,” he said. “Thus there is still a need to improve breastfeeding practices in Samoa, hence we must continue to collaborate with each other to promote, protect and support breastfeeding starting with our families, churches, communities and workplaces.
Result of yesterday’s float competition:
1st - C.C.C.S Utuali’i, 2nd - C.C.C.S Toamua, 3rd - C.C.C.S. Vaitele-Uta, 4th - Women Committee from Ti’avea and 5th - Lalelei from Apia.