Uganda suffers as half of adult population is declared stunted
Boaz Musiimenta an official from the Prime Minister’s Office said the failure to invest in proper nutrition of pregnant mothers and children up to when they reach 1000 days has had far reaching negative implications on an individuals mental and physical capacity that altogether negatively undermines the country’s productivity.
Musiimenta made the remarks as the country joined the rest of the world to mark the International Breastfeeding week that is commemorated in the first week of August. Experts used the celebrations to urge mothers to breastfeed their children at least exclusively for the first six months, who presided over the breastfeeding ceremonies, expressed concern at the findings. “These are extremely worrying findings,” said Mbabazi. Mbabazi added that steady economic growth recorded in Uganda was not enough to to address stunting and other costly impacts of a poor diet.
Uganda urgently needs to invest in nutrition-oriented measures and policies to ensure economic savings for the country and its families alike, Mbabazi added.
Meanwhile, advocates of breastfeeding asked the government to increase leave for breastfeeding mothers up to six months.
Dr. Elizabeth Madraa, a nutrition expert, says that the maternity leave is so short and it’s time that the Ministry of Labour considers allotting more months for these mothers to stay at home before they get back to work.
Secondly, Madraa said there is need to create opportunities at the workplace so that mothers can come with their babies so that the babies are fed at anytime because the mother is nearer the baby.
Experts argue further that exclusive breastfeeding should be encouraged because it can acts as a family planning tool.
“There are so many benefits of breast feeding but the most important for the infant is that it boosts a child’s immunity” said Dr. Madraa.