Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Women encouraged to breastfeed babies in South Africa this World AIDS Day

This World AIDS Day in South Africa, women are being encouraged to breastfeed their babies. Exclusive breastfeeding to six months combined with antiretroviral medication during pregnancy, delivery and through the breastfeeding period cuts HIV infections in infants by 42 per cent.
Breast feeding can prolong infants’ lives | The New Age Online: Breast feeding can prolong infants’ lives

Ina Skosana

As nature intended – however hackneyed, this phrase rings true when applied to things like getting your recommended daily allowance of vitamins, losing weight and breast feeding.

For those who have not had the pleasure of bringing a life into the world this may seem like a no-brainer. But for new moms, it’s not that simple, especially if they are HIV positive.

With millions of new mothers caught in the grip of the HIV-Aids epidemic and 26000 babies infected through breast milk in 2008, concerns about mother to child transmission are valid. Statistics show that KwaZulu-Natal has the highest number of HIV positive women attending antenatal clinics, representing almost 40% of the national figure.

For this World Aids Day women are encouraged to breast feed their babies.

A recently released Kesho Bora study shows that “giving mothers a combination of ARVs (antiretroviral medication) during pregnancy, delivery and breast feeding, cuts HIV infections in infants by 42%”. The study, led by the WHO’s department of reproductive health, indicates that this is possible if the treatment is given during the late stages of pregnancy until six months into breast feeding....