South African Health Minister Promotes Exclusive Breastfeeding To Fight Rising Infant Mortality Rate

Speaking at a breastfeeding conference on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that “reducing child mortality is one of the most important priorities in our country and central to this is breastfeeding as a child survival strategy,” Agence France-Presse reports.

“South Africa will no longer distribute free infant milk to public hospitals and clinics in an effort to promote exclusive breastfeeding and lower child mortality, the health minister said,” the news agency writes (8/23). “[H]e made it clear that mothers who could not breastfeed for medical reasons would be supplied formula at government clinics and hospitals,” according to the Mail & Guardian. “Motsoaledi expressed grave concern that South Africa is one of only 12 countries in the world where infant mortality rates are increasing,” the newspaper reports (Child, 8/24).