Zomba — The Zomba District Health Office (DHO) says it is working towards achieving a 100 percent breastfeeding rate among women in the district to surpass its current 60 percent rate.
District Health Environmental Officer (DEHO) Innocent Mvula said this recently during a function marking the start of the district's breast feeding week.
Speaking during the function held at Mtondo Primary School Ground in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwambo, Mvula said his office has partnered with different organizations to achieve this goal.
He singled out negative attitudes by some community members towards breast feeding as one of the major challenges that are hindering women from exclusively breastfeeding their children in the district.
On his part, Sub Traditional Authority (ST/A) Nkagula said there is need for joint efforts between couples, traditional leaders and health officers for the 100 percent breastfeeding rate to be achieved.
He said as traditional leaders, they will strengthen by-laws which encourage couples to take a leading role in promoting their children's nutrition.
"I will make sure that chiefs from my area are implementing by-laws which were formulated to advocate for mothers to breast feed their children as advised by the health personnel," Nkagula said.
He added that some of the health problems that communities face such as malnutrition come about because of poor breastfeeding practices that children experienced when they were young.
Emmanuel International, World Vision and World Food Programme are some of the organizations working with Zomba DHO through the District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) in implementing nutritional projects in Zomba.