UFH contributes in breast feeding week
The World Health Organisation had set aside the first week of August to mark the breast feeding week worldwide more so to sensitise communities about breast feeding importance and in the context of HIV/AIDS. The university’s Nursing Department led by Mrs Zukiswa Theodora Dasheka in partnership with various Non Governmental Organisations like Mothers 2 Mothers, Saving Mothers Saving Babies including the Department of Health were in the Ndevana community. This was a local initiative with immense contribution to the global picture, said Dasheka who is a clinical facilitator for B.Cur third year’s, Midwifery and community Nursing Modules.
Various presentations were made on infant and young child feeding, prevention of mother to child transmission, management of sexual assault victims, family planning and life experience by a mother who is living with HIV. The audience across generations were provided with counselling, high blood pressure and glucose level test, HIV test and Vitamin A catch up for children.
A child with a rare eye condition was identified and referred to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital; she will be followed up at six weeks by Mrs Dasheka to assess impact of the intervention.
In her presentation, Mrs Jwacu- Ningi from Frere Hospital said, Mothers infected with HIV are able to exclusively breastfeed for six months, whilst they and their infants are receiving Antiretroviral to reduce the chances of transmission. However if the mother meets the AFASS criteria (Affordable, Feasible, Acceptable, Safe and Sustainable) is able to exclusively formula feed. Mix feeding i.e. feeding breast milk, formula and/or solids increase the risk of HIV transmission, diarrhoea and respiratory infections including death before the age of five. She said.