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#EMMAseries: COMMON HARMFUL TRADITIONAL PRACTICES IN RELATION TO INFANT FEEDING; CHILD REARING

INFANT FEEDING

1. Modern practice by some ladies to avoid breastfeeding their children for reason as maintaining sex appeal and that’s what is acceptable in developed countries. We all know about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding.

2. Early introduction of solids before the age of 6 months. Some even give baby pap from the first month of life. Their digestive system is not yet ready to deal with solids before age 4-6 months.

3. Forced feeding of babies ‘riro omo lounje’. This can lead to choking on feeds and we have seen babies die from forced feeding.

4. Withholding certain foods especially proteinous foods like egg, fish, meat from children so that they will not steal. This may lead to malnutrition.

CHILD REARING

1. Avoidance of immunization – All children should be immunized. Some mothers because of some negative experience in the past either directly or indirectly decline their kids’ immunization exposing those children to preventable diseases/deaths. It is also against the law not to immunize your kids (CRA)

2. Female genital cutting/mutilation – This has many negative effects such as infections and even death in some cases. Please let’s stop this with our generation

3. Child labour – this seems controversial but any child below age 15years is not meant to work for economic purposes. This includes letting children hawk, work as house help etc. Health is not just the mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing.

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