Brunei's Belait district salutes nursing mothers

KUALA BELAIT (Borneo Bulletin/ ANN) - Brunei Darussalam yesterday marked World Breastfeeding Day with activities held across all four districts.

In the Belait District, the celebration was held at the Learning and Development Centre of the Suri Seri Begawan Hospital, with Datin Dr Hajah Noraslinah binti Haji Ramlee, the spouse of the Minister of Health, as the guest of honour.

Acting Director of Health Service Dr Hajah Rafidah binti Haji Gharif, hospital staff and mothers were also in attendance.

The celebration - which carries the theme ‘Breastfeeding: The Foundation of Life’ - began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, followed by verses of Surah Al-Quran by students of the Belait Arabic School.

In her speech, Suri Seri Begawan Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Hajah Riamiza Natalie binti Haji Momin noted that the celebration represents an opportunity to spread the word on the benefits of breastfeeding, in terms of nutrition and food security for growing babies.

"In describing the practice of breastfeeding, it represents a universal answer that it provides the essential base for not just the newborns, but also the mother in leading a healthy life," she explained.

The celebration is an opportunity to appreciate mothers for practising breastfeeding, and to support the Ministry of Health’s commitment in promoting such practice.

The guest of honour presented nursing covers and plaques in a show of appreciation to nursing mothers.

A token of appreciation was also presented to a representative of HAWA, who detailed the steps taken as well as achievements made by the group in encouraging the practice of breastfeeding in the Belait District.

HAWA is a non-government association.