Leave breasts for babies, Ugandan ministry official tells men
A Ugandan ministry of health official has warned men against competing for breast with babies.
According to New Vision, Samalie Namukose, the principal nutritionist at the ministry said she was shocked to learn that some cultures believe that the breasts belong to men and therefore do not give babies the chance to enjoy breastfeeding.
She says although exclusive breastfeeding is essential for babies in the first six months, many men are often uncomfortable with it and compete with the babies for the breast.
Namukose was speaking during a meeting for cultural leaders organised by the Ministry of Health in commemoration of the World Breastfeeding week marked annually between August 1 and 7.
“In some health facilities I visited, many women had wounds on their breasts and when I asked what caused this, they said the men demand for breasts and cause those wounds. This is very serious and must stop,” she said, sending participants into laughter.
Namukose, who declined to mention the cultures, said children who are not breastfed often fall sick, or even die, do not grow to their full potential and lag behind in school.
Low family support, particularly from male partners, is one of the many barriers women face when breastfeeding.
Others include limited access to accurate information, support from health service providers, and a non-supportive work environment.
Baffled at Namukose’s revelation, Dr. Paul Kaggwa, the Acting Commissioner Health Services, appealed to his fellow men to ‘get saved’ saying they are depriving babies of their rights.