KOTA BHARU: The Malaysian health ministry aims to increase the percentage of babies being exclusively breastfed to 70 per cent by 2025.
According to State Health Director Zaini Hussin on Wednesday (Feb 20), current ministry data shows that 47.1 per cent of babies, or infants under six months old, are exclusively breastfed.
Several efforts have to be made to achieve the target in six years, he said. This may include collaborating with Malaysia's School of Medical Sciences (USM) and the World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action to create awareness on breastfeeding practices.
"We need to intensify the roles played by parties, not just the mother, but also the father and the community," Dr Zaini told reporters at a two-day conference on infant and child nutrition.
He added: "As we know, breast milk is the best for a baby's development."
Among the factors that has contributed to fewer women breastfeeding is their career, said Dr Zaini. However, he also pointed out that many work places in the country now provide adequate facilities to make it conducive for nursing mothers.
"So a career should no longer be an excuse for not nursing a child, because mother's milk is not just about food but it is the best for the child's positive development," he said.