Mothers forced to breastfeed

The Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said policies should force breast feeding in order to decrease the high mortality rate of infants. He said the increasing rate of child mortality in the country in is disturbing, mothers should be forced to breast feed their new born babies until they are 6 months old. He also said the country had a low prevalence of exclusive at eight percent of breast feeding according to the 2003 Demographic and Health Survey. Motsoaledi also mentioned that it was caused by amongst others the "aggressive and deadly" promotion of infant formula milk and misconceptions that breast feeding was a sign of poverty.
Motsoaledi stated how women have neglected what was done in the past religiously and promoted culturally. One way to ensure mothers revert back to breast feeding would be to obtain infant feeding formula on prescription from doctors under strict conditions, said Motsoaledi. He said this in a two-day breast feeding summit in Centurion (The Herald, 22 august 2011, Motsoaledi wants policies to force breast feeding).
In Port Elizabeth hospitals there have been reports of deaths of newborn babies and one of the passing of infants is caused by mothers refusing to breastfeed. Sisandas Luthuli of Missionvale squatter camp lost her two month old son because she refused to breast feed, because she might lose her weight. “I never wanted to breast feed my son because I was afraid I’ll lose weight, but now I regret it because he died when he was two months old”, she said. Luthuli says the minister’s decision to force mothers to breast feed is a very good thought, she also believes that if she breastfed her son, he would still be alive today.  While Luthuli is cheering for the minister’s decision Fiona Jacobs of Jacksonville thinks it is a bad decision because of transmission of disease to the child. She also said she have three kids and she never breastfed any of them and they are healthy.
Even though others still refuse to breastfeed in Kwa-Dwesi clinic the nurses said they will not be giving out any baby formulas, and they will be monitoring if the new method will be working. There seem to be support for the minister’s decision in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

Nomaxabiso Phinda


Contaminated water in Port Elizabeth

Yesterday Port Elizabeth Residents were warned to not drink the tap water as the water supply is unsafe entire system corrupted. This warning came after the P.E based newspaper The Herald wrote an article about how the Bay’s water is deadly, (The Herald, 6 September 2011, Bay’s water of death, Brian Hayward). The article raised how there is no chlorine in the reticulation plants and high counts of viruses and bacteria were reported. Residents were told to boil the water before using it.

Some of the places that have the polluted water include a Port Elizabeth hospital, Livingstone Hospital and Korsten. The bacteria in the water supply in Livingstone is said to be deadly especially to the sick and the elderly, as well as young children, putting them at risk of diarrhoea, urinary tract infections and pneumonia. The water in Korsten contains unacceptably high amounts of coliform bacteria, which indicate the presence of either human or animal faeces and the absence of effective water treatment.

Water purification specialist and engineering faculty head Johan Barnard said the city’s water needed to be tested weekly to monitor whether levels of chlorine were sufficient or not. Barnard also said in his comment on the article that a possible reason for the lack of free chlorine levels could be the recent heavy rains which meant water carrying more sediment was deposited in the city’s dams. “Chlorine is used up faster in water if it has a high sediment level, leaving little (chlorine) left to fight bacteria lower down the system (pipeline),” he said.

Nomaxabiso Pinda

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