(At the kata kata village square. Agama’s wife has reported the husband to the village assembly for sexual harassment. The village wants to settle the quarrel. Coincidentally, Piccolo, the Kata Kata Village’s representative at the WHO’s organised breastfeeding course has just returned to brief the village on the course ).
CHIEF: My people, you know our Kata Kata village is village of peace. So therefore, we wan’ help Agama and family live in peace. Madam Agama, why you report your husband here?
AGAMA’s WIFE: Kata Kata Village I greet you. I brought my husband to this assembly because he is a useless pig.
VILLAGER 1: Shoo!!
VILLAGER 2: Banange!!
VILLAGER 3: I hear you!!
USENI: Only pig?
AGAMA: (head lowered. Hands on the cheek). I am having my siesta!!
AGAMA’s WIFE: My husband does not allow me to rest. Every second he wants my breast.
CHIEF: Eeee! Madam, wait.
CHIEF: (to children) Oya, children leave! Old people wan talk. Otherwise, you get bad – bad dream at night after you hear whot we talk. Oya, leave!!
CHILDREN : (leaving)
CHIEF: Agama, you hear what your wife talk? Wot is your answer?
AGAMA: I am an activist.
PICCOLO: Yea! Bloody breast activist indeed!
AGAMA: Exactly! I am here for WABA
PICCOLO: Wow! I am not sure WABA sent you to harass and mesmerise your wife’s breast, with alacrity impunity, dude
AGAMA: As I said, I am an activist. I am here to create awareness…
PICCOLO: Breastfeeding awareness by selfishly enslaving your wife sexually?
CHIEF: Who is dis WABA nonsense man? He come from dis village? Oya, WABA stand up! Where WABA?
AGAMA: No, Chief. WABA means the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. The aim of WABA, which started 16 years ago is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CHIEF: (angry) : Agama! Your head contain acid battery or gunpowder? Wot is dis WABA en breastfeeding nonsense? Since when you become baby with diaper, drinking breastmilk?
AGAMA: Chief, my ears have gone to fight Boko Haram to negotiate a ceasefire. I’ll respond after they are back.
AGAMA’S WIFE: Don’t mind the useless gorilla. If you really care about breastfeeding, why didn’t you make sure your children had adequate breastfeeding as babies and……………?
Well, while the Kata Kata Village waits for Agama’s ears to return from the important trip to the Boko Haram territory, Piccolo throws more light on the breastfeeding – especially its benefits. Here he goes:
The World Breastfeeding Week is held yearly from the 1st – 7th of August, aimed at encouraging breastfeeding, which helps improve the health of babies around the world. Globally, more than120 countries celebrate breastfeeding week. Breastfeeding is not only the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need, but it also leads to sustainable growth in society. In fact, breastfeeding is the key to sustainable development because our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are related to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). This is because our development goes back to childhood. If you don’t breastfeed your child, how do you think they can live healthy or fit enough to contribute positively to society?
It is, therefore, not strange that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that every woman starts breastfeeding within one hour after birth until her baby is 6 months old. In fact,
WHO advises that the breastfeeding continues for up to 2 years or beyond together with nutritious complementary foods. Of course, feeding a child does not lead to the diminishing of the milk production in the breast. The milk hardly gets finished as far as breastfeeding continues. Nature has made it so that the milk reproduces as far as breastfeeding takes place. You could, therefore, say that breast milk is like a tap, if you open the tap, the water comes out steadily; frequent breastfeeding maintains breast milk supply.
Some mothers have stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula milk, only to try to go back to breastfeeding. Doing so could lead to the diminishing of the milk production.
Moreover, breastfeeding is more healthy than infant formula, which usually does not contain the antibodies present in breast milk. Also, breastfeeding has long-term health benefits for mothers and children. Another risk of formula milk is the problem of hygiene. Sometimes during the preparation of formula milk, the use of unsafe water, unsterilized equipment or the presence of bacteria in powdered formula could come with health risks.
On the other hand, breastmilk contains antibodies which help babies against deadly illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia, which kill infants worldwide. In fact, if you breastfeed for up to the age of two years about 800 000 child lives would be saved yearly.
Isn’t time for every one of us to encourage and sensitize the importance of breastfeeding?