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South African mothers encouraged to breastfeed
Mothers in South Africa have been advised to breastfeed their child in order to boost their chances of survival.
According to Professor Dave Saunders, director of the University of the Western Cape's School of Public Health, this can reduce the mortality rate among under-fives by more than one-tenth, Health-e reports.
However, he said very few infants are exclusively breastfed when they are aged six months or less.
"This is the lowest [number] in the world and that is because we have allowed the infant formulae companies to get right inside our health services," Professor Saunders commented.
He noted there are many reasons why the child mortality rate remains high in South Africa, such as inequalities in healthcare provision and the spread of HIV/Aids.
Professor Saunders said this is a particularly big problem in Cape Town, despite the fact it is one of the country's richest cities.
He added that many of those who die early are either underweight or severely malnourished.
Posted by Alexandra George
World Congress 2015