In West Africa, health & hygiene training … and a chubby baby!
I was completely amazed by the chubby baby in the arms of his mother, who sat across from me at the meeting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a healthy looking baby in a village in this region before. What was this woman’s secret to having such a healthy baby, while so many are malnourished?
The baby’s mother, Esther, a participant in FRB’s West Africa 1 program, explained. “In the training I received on health I learned the importance of only giving breast milk for the first six months of a baby’s life.” The elders in Esther’s village had told young women that their first milk wasn’t good, that they needed to throw it out and instead give their newborns water, or pass them to another woman to nurse. “Now we learned that the first milk is so important to give to our babies – that is what helps them grow strong!”