Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. It contains antibodies that help fight infection and decrease allergies. It has the perfect amount of nutrients and is easily digested. It’s cheap and readily available at the right temperature ALL the time. It helps with bonding and development. It decreases the chances of having diarrhoea, pneumonia and ear infection. It can also protect mother’s health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, post-partum depression and helps lose weight quickly.

The initial attachment to breast is to be done within the first hour of life with mother and baby having skin to skin contact. This will increase bonding while allowing baby to get warm and cozy.

In the first few days mothers produce liquid gold called Colostrum. This milk is rich in antibodies and white cells that help protect against infection and allergies. It acts as a purgative that helps clear meconium and prevent skin to turn yellow. It also has growth factors that help intestine to mature, prevent allergies and intolerance.

Thereafter, there is a transition into mature milk which has 2 components – fore milk and hind milk. The foremilk is lighter in colour and has more water content to quench baby’s thirst. The hind milk is dark white or yellow in colour and has more fat to help with baby’s growth.

It is recommended that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. This means that the only thing baby needs is breast milk alone; there is no need to give water, sugar water, fruit juice or anything else to supplement breast milk.

Health staff to create awareness on breastfeeding.

National advisor dietetics and nutrition Mrs Jiutajia Tikoitoga addressing the participants at the CWM Hospital


As part of the National Breastfeeding Week, the CWM Hospital launched a three day training workshop for the medical staff to upskill their knowledge on breast feeding.

During the workshop the nurses, doctors and midwives will be further trained .This will help them improve service delivery and create more awareness for mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding.

While launching breastfeeding week, the National Advisor on Dietetics and Nutrition Mrs Juitajia Tikoitoga strongly mentioned that the baby must be given the utmost care and it should never be compromised.

“We cannot deny the baby what is rightfully theirs and in this case breast milk is the best for the them therefore we don’t have the right to take this away from them”, said Mrs Tikoitoga.

When babies are breastfed, no other nutrients are required to supplement their diet as it contains all the ingredients for the healthy growth of the baby.

The training of the medical staff will conclude on Friday, with an oratory contest and the presentation of certificates to the participants.

Meanwhile The Ministry of Health has been encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies as there is no equivalent substitute to breastfeeding.

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First Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium

First Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium


Minister for health and medical services Mr Jone Usamate with Margot Whitfeld (second from left) and other participants at the symposium.

The Hon. Minister for Health & MedicalServices Mr Jone Usamate officially opened the first Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium at the Holiday Inn in Suva.


This 2 day seminar was about promoting albinism awareness and education, and will enable more people to learn about the health components of albinism. It will also enable relevant authorities to support people with albinism so that they can lead full and supported lives.

Albinism is a rare genetic disorder that causes the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no colour. People with albinism are at risk of developing skin cancer and have low vision problems.

One of the objectives of this program is to establish qualitative data on the numbers of people with albinism in Fiji, to identify the exact numbers and the demographic distribution of this condition. This will help the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Education to direct the correct resources to meet the needs of the people with albinism. Much needed awareness will also be raised particularly around skin, health and low vision support.

“Inclusion of all people is one of the basic philosophies of the Fiji Government and this symposium was planned by the Fiji Albinism Project steering committee based at Mataika House”, said Mr Usamate.

The group discussions on the second day of the symposium will enable participants to come up with new ideas from a multi-sectorial point of view, with ways to support people with albinism, for review and analysis by the Fiji Government.

Mr Usamate added that this will have the potential to dramatically improve the health, education and quality of life of those important members of our community with albinism.

This program is supported The Australian College of Dermatologists, Australian Private Sector Donors, St Vincents Hospital Sydney and the Pulse Programme GSK