The Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi says the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding in South Africa and many parts of the world is concerning as breastfeeding contributes to child survival.
“It is of great concern that exclusive breastfeeding rates globally and in our country are extremely low. Globally it is estimated that only 36% of moms breastfeed their infants for at least 6 months. In South Africa we estimate that only 39% of mothers breastfeed exclusively for 14 weeks after the baby is born and the figure is much lower at 6 months at only 8%. Our exclusive breastfeeding rates are amongst the lowest in the world. We must all work harder to ensure that we support mothers to exclusively breastfeed for at least six months and rapidly reach a target of at least 50% of mothers breastfeeding for at least 6 months after the infant in born. This will require an extra mile by all of us to encourage and support breastfeeding mothers by improving their workplace and social environment,” said the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. (more…)