Two leading causes of infant mortality are diarrhoea and acute respiratory tract infections and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), exclusive breastfeeding for a baby’s first six months reduces a child’s chances of succumbing to a number of preventable illnesses these two. The World Health Organisation therefore recommends exclusive breastfeeding for this period and partial breastfeeding into a child’s second year.
Sterilisation plays a vital role in reducing the risk of infection in infants, as infections are the primary cause of infant mortality in Africa. To help support healthcare workers in their efforts to educate mothers about the importance of sterilisation, Philips AVENT will be supporting healthcare centres with 50 Electric Steam Steriliser around the country, including the Medical Research Council in KwaZulu Natal and the Department of Health (Overberg region: Swellendam Sub-district). Philips AVENT will also issue information featuring tips on sterilisation and breastfeeding to physicians and healthcare professionals in government and private clinics to help them educate mothers and mothers-to-be.