- The Tanzanian government has warned men to stop competing for breastmilk with their toddlers
- The government say that the practice is denying the children the much-needed nutrients, leaving them with malnutrition
- According to Handeni District Commissioner Toba Nguvila, this practice stems from a misguided assumption that breastmilk gives some form of power
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The Tanzanian government has raised concern over a section of men that has discovered a unique liking of breastmilk and is competing with their toddlers to get a good share of the food.
This has come to the fore a week after the marking of World Breastfeeding Week, which concluded on August 7.
The warning came after women raised concern over the practice (men drinking breastmilk), saying there isn't enough milk left for the babies.
In a video shared by Millard Ayo TV, Siriel Shaidi Mchembe, Handeni District Commissioner was captured saying the practice was derived from a misguided assumption that breastmilk offers some power to men.
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"Kwa hiyo tumekubaliana kwamba jambo hilo likemewe kwa nguvu zote, na wababa waache hii tabia ya kunyonya maziwa ya watoto. (So we have agreed that this practise be condemned in the strongest terms possible and men to stop feeding on baby's milk)," said Mchembe.
WHO's take on breastfeeding
World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that babies breastfeed purely on their mother's milk for six months.
The organisation, however, notes that this rule has not often been followed by many mothers.
"However, nearly two out of three infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6 months—a rate that has not improved in 2 decades," WHO said in a statement.
"Breastfed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese and less prone to diabetes later in life. Women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers."
Kenyan Nutritionist debunks myths about breastfeeding
In a recent article, a Kenyan top nutritionist debunked myths and set the facts straight about breastfeeding.
Deputy Chief Nutrition Officer at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Faith Gitahi, said some traditional beliefs are actively barring moms from breastfeeding, thereby denying newborns the much-needed health benefits.
"Breastfeeding provides perfect nutrition for the baby, protects the baby from infections, enhances bonding, and promotes emotional security, among other benefits," she said.