Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health Encourages Breastfeeding in the Villages
Teams guide indigenous mothers on the importance of breastfeeding
In order to encourage the importance of breastfeeding, the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) has been developing awareness actions in the villages to promote the importance of breastfeeding, both for the baby and for the indigenous mother.
Through the Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Teams (EMSI), SESAI is present in the 34 Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts (DSEI) to encourage breastfeeding as an exclusive source of food for babies up to six months of age because it offers the nutrients necessary for the healthy development of the child, always respecting the cultural and social practices of each ethnic group.
After 6 months, the Ministry of Health recommends the introduction of complementary foods until the age of two. According to the SESAI´s nutritionist, Élida Amorim, more than 80% of indigenous children under 6 months are currently in exclusive breastfeeding. "Among children older than 6 months and younger than 1 year, of 5,620 children monitored, 34% are on complementary feeding and 25% on exclusive breastfeeding. From 12 to 24 months, of 13,612 children monitored, 61% (8,294) are on complementary feeding and 2% on exclusive breastfeeding," he says.
The indigenous population, with their knowledge and traditions, encourage breastfeeding practices that are essential for the health of the child and the mother. Feeding is considered a social and cultural practice among these people.
Breastfeeding and Covid-19
With the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Health advises that breastfeeding should be maintained in case of infection by the mother. This is because there are no significant scientific findings on the transmission of the virus through breast milk. It is necessary that the woman looks for health professionals to get information about the necessary care for breastfeeding during the contamination period.
Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health of the Ministry of Health - (61) 3315.2306
*data extracted from the Indigenous Health Information System (SIASI)
Text: Karina Borges - Nucom/SESAI
Translation: Renata Arruda – Nucom/SESAI