Breastfeeding: Kiambu opens centre for lactating hospital staff
Mathew Ndung’u and Oliver Musembi
Kiambu County Government has launched the first breastfeeding centre at Gatundu Level Five Hospital in a programme hoped to be rolled out in other hospitals and county offices.
The simple room, fitted with fridges to store the milk and with chairs, table as well as a television screen, will be used as temporal home for lactating mothers working at the hospital.
Private companies in the county will also be expected to establish such rooms to not only comply with the Health Act that requires them to establish decent places for breastfeeding staff, but also help them promote exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months which has been proved to reduce child ailments, including stunted growth and deaths.
Health Executive Mary Kamau said a big percentage of children in the county are not exclusively breastfed.
She commended community health volunteers for educating mothers and promised to allocate them a stipend if a bill, (Community Health Workers Bill) she has tabled in the county Cabinet sails through.
Meanwhile, the county has also launched Anzilisha plus programme projected to focus on strengthening maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition services in the county, where breastfeeding is one of the key indicators of focus.
The programme, whose main area of focus in the county will be Lari and Thika sub-counties, will be supported by Nutrition International in collaboration with the county government.