Ongwediva Medipark plans to host an antenatal counselling day to reduce the number of babies born with low-birth weight, as well as reduce infant and maternal mortality.
Speaking at a press conference at the hospital on Thursday, Medipark’s Managing Director Dr Tshali Iithete said the one-day antenatal counselling campaign targets to educate pregnant women in order to improve the pregnancy outcome and after-care of babies.
The campaign will be held on May 14 at the hospital.
The campaign will educate expectant mothers on inclusive breastfeeding during the first six months after birth, which is currently said to be at 27 percent in the country.
Currently, Namibians are said to be practising mixed feeding – breastfeeding and giving other foods or liquid between birth and six months.
Also speaking at the conference, Fatima Suleiman, the obstetric gynaecologist, said the day will focus on screening women’s weight, hypertension in pregnancy, screening of micro nutrients as well as engage mothers in talks on nutrients and danger signs during and after pregnancy.
Dietician Clifort Ngoveni said the campaign also targets to ensure that pregnant women have an adequate diet during the pregnancy and also teach to-be mothers what type of food to eat.
“We would concentrate on local diet which is cheap and available but has all the different micro-nutrients,” said Ngoveni.
Ithete encouraged the spouses and partners to accompany the women to the campaign. “The partners should come and attend because nutrition and health are for the whole family,” said Iithete.
The campaign seeks to generate awareness and will endeavour in data collection and research in the prevalence and risk factors of low birth weight and maternal nutrition in the northern regions. Medipark is planning to run the campaign annually.