Our ‘Baby show’ initiative is dramatically promoting exclusive breastfeeding and other healthy conditions for under-five children in Pujehun
More lactating mothers in Pujehun (Southern District of Sierra Leone) are now being motivated to practice exclusive breastfeeding of their babies from age 0-6 months, avoid early weaning of children below six months; pay regular visits to health centers through an initiative called Baby Show. “Baby Show is a competition which involves exhibition of under six months babies to know which ones are doing well in terms of weight gained”, explains Augustine Sammah, Health Program Manager in Pujehun. The objective is to promote exclusive breastfeeding and discourage early weaning.
Baby show was first introduced at Potaro and Zimmi in October last year but has extended to other five chiefdoms in the Pujehun District including Bandajuma, Pehala, Futa and Pejewa. 100 participants are selected per Peripheral Health Unit (PHU) for the competition to get the best ten competitors. Among the best ten a winner merges to receive a prize of a ‘baby tub’ full of baby items. The other nine best also receive runners up prizes of 10 baby soaps each. The initiative has also increased immunization coverage and growth monitoring in all areas where the initiative has been introduced. We hope to take this motivating idea to more places in the Pujehun district so that more lactating mothers will adopt the practice of exclusive breast feeding and avoid early weaning of the children under the age of six months.