Through the enforcement of the Maternity Leave Order 2011, it has successfully encouraged working mothers to exclusively breastfeed their infant at an optimum level for a longer period of time. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding has increased from 23 percent in 2010 to 33 percent in 2012, and 37 percent in 2013. The positive increase was also observed among working mothers in the private sector. Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar, the Minister of Health stated the matter at a Forum held in conjunction with the launching of World Breastfeeding Week 2018 yesterday morning. According to Yang Berhormat, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months has increased from 27 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2015. With the coordinated efforts from various parties, Brunei Darussalam will successfully achieve the target that is set by the World Health Organisations, WHO which is at least 50 percent in 2025.

The Minister of Health urged all stakeholders to be committed and give cooperation as well as support to one another. This includes not only the government, but also non-government organisations (NGO’s), employers, private sector, professional bodies and business owners. The minister also called for breastfeeding rooms to be provided so that mothers can continue to breastfeed their infant until the age of 2 years.

The forum titled ‘Penyusuan Susu Ibu: Asas Kehidupan’ or Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life was delivered by several panelists including Yang Berhormat Awang Iswandy bin Ahmad, member of the Legislative Council. 400 people attended the forum comprising mothers and their spouses, students from higher education institutions, Women’s Council members, HAWA and Ministry of Health’s staff.

The World Breastfeeding Week 2018 is celebrated every 1st of August, and this year’s theme was Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life, which highlighted the importance of breastfeeding as a sustainable and healthy practise to ensure that each infant has the best start in life.

Source: Radio Television Brunei