GMOA Crucial meeting to promote breastfeeding

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Representatives of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), United Nations International Children Educational Fund and the World Health Organisation yesterday met Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka to take steps to promote breastfeeding in the country.

GMOA Committee Member Dr. Nalinda Herath told The Island that during the discussions with the Health Secretary, the GMOA had requested him to promote breast milk promotion countrywide as there was no substitute available. In response, Dr. Jayathilaka had agreed to establish lactation management centres in all major hospitals for that purpose.

Dr. Herath pointed out that there were two options for breast-feeding working mothers. The Health Secretary would obtain Cabinet approval to enact legislation which would require all government and private sector organisations to establish in-house breastfeeding centres.

Someone would have to bring the infant to the organisation to be breast fed by the mother.

Dr. Herath said the GMOA had stressed the need for introducing breastfeeding courses to all pre-interns and paediatricians.

It had also been agreed that the curriculum of all postgraduate doctors would include special training in breast feeding, nutrition and medical administration.

At the discussion UNICEF was represented by Dr. Renuka Jaytissa and WHO by Dr. Anoma Jayathillake.

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