Kampala. The government has asked employers to establish breastfeeding centres at their workplaces where breastfeeding mothers can easily use.
Health experts emphasise exclusive breastfeeding for mothers for at least six months as this increases chances of babies growing up healthier and bonding with their mothers.
Mr Mondo Kyateka, the Commissioner of Youth and Children Affairs at Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, yesterday said because most mothers work a distance away from where they live, it is important that their employers create a conducive environment to raise responsible citizens.
He explained that because government insists on exclusive breastfeeding for children below six months, there is a deliberate effort to ensure breastfeeding mothers are protected at their workplaces and a National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy was developed to ensure children’s right to survival is secured through good feeding and nurturing especially from conception to eight years.
“A number of things have not been put in place. The good news is that at least we have some work places that are already providing feeding spaces for lactating mothers because it is provided for in the policy. The space must be provided by the company who should meet the cost of maintaining and equipping it,” he added.
According to Mr Kyateka, if children are not given timely and adequate opportunities for good nutrition and simulation, they lose opportunities for good physical and intellectual growth that cannot be made up at later stages.
The policy notes that up to 100,000 children live outside a protective family environment.
Of these, 62,000 live under residential care and 3,000 live on the street. In addition, malnutrition contributes nearly 60 per cent of infant deaths while another 8.7 million children live in insecure non-poor households.
Mr Moses Ssesanga, Human Resource manager at the Monitor Publications Ltd, said as a company, they had already created a room for breastfeeding mothers.
Parliament in 2014 dedicated space for female MPs to breastfeed their babies.