Wednesday , September 27 2023
Home / NEWS / Experts urge mothers battling Ebola to avoid breastfeeding

Experts urge mothers battling Ebola to avoid breastfeeding

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health experts have asked breastfeeding mothers to wean their babies after contracting and being cured of the Ebola virus disease, and introduce them to breastmilk substitutes.

They say that continued breastfeeding by a mother even after she has been cured of the Ebola virus disease, puts their babies at risk of being infected.

Dr. George Opong, from the World Health Organization (WHO) Gulu regional office, explained that the risks of transmission of Ebola disease by a surviving mother to her child through breastmilk are high.

He noted that like the avoidance of unprotected sex for one year due to the risks of transmission from sperm and body fluids, the virus can also transmit to the child through breast milk hence the need to avoid breastfeeding.

Dr. Opong told journalists from Gulu city on Wednesday that the possibility of infection from mother to child through breast milk remains high, since studies indicate that the virus remains in the body even after one gets cured.

Nansamba Odiirah at the Ministry of Health, added that the ministry has developed a circular notifying mothers who suffer from the disease to keep off their babies from breastfeeding.

She disclosed that the ministry of health is battling one case in which a mother contracted the disease and was forced to wean off her baby.

Uganda is battling an outbreak of the Sudan Ebola strain. However, Odiirah says that the fight against the disease is being hindered by myths and misconceptions, and a lack of trust among the people hence placing everyone at risk.

As of Wednesday this week, the Ministry of Health had reported 136 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease in the country, 54 deaths, 18 admissions, 62 recoveries, 2,187 contacts, and 1,887 followings completed.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *