SHARJAH: The Friends of Breastfeeding Association of the Health Promotion Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah has shed light on its initiatives and events in May and June, where the number of hours spent by the volunteers in the Association activities reached 1705 virtual hours.
And through the social media platforms, the Association held an initiative to study volunteer behavior in the UAE society in cooperation with a number of governmental and private institutions, society members, in addition to training a number of volunteer students from various university institutions.
At the health awareness level, the Breastfeeding Association organized through its social media accounts several educational lectures aimed at supporting and encouraging mothers to continue breastfeeding their children, in addition to providing the financial and moral support for nursing mothers with COVID-19, in coordination with other competent authorities.
The association's efforts did not stop there. Rather, it sought to find solutions to the suspension of producing some breastfeeding devices and accessories due to the current circumstances. To this end, the Association has provided sale and rental services to breastfeeding devices through courier companies to maintain the health and safety of its employees and customers.
Strengthening volunteer action
Her Excellency Eng. Khawla Al Noman, Head of Breastfeeding Friends Association, said: “Since the emergence of COVID-19, the Breastfeeding Friends has dedicated all the efforts to enhancing the awareness of community members about healthy lifestyles, especially among nursing mothers as they are amongst the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19 infection. Further, we have continued our efforts to support and encourage mothers to breastfeed their children and to help them overcome all the challenges they face, owing to the importance of breastfeeding for both the mother and the child.”
Al Noman pointed out that the Association has focused its efforts on strengthening the concept of volunteer work through motivating community members to take part in the specialized volunteerism in a scientific and innovative way, shedding light on the study conducted by the Association to assess the volunteer behavior in society and identify the challenges faced by volunteers and find solutions to them, as well as to come up with the findings that consolidate the culture of volunteer work.
37 awareness-raising posts
In the meantime, the Association has published on its social media platforms over 37 posts and 10 videos that provide tips and advice about how to boost the immune system among mothers and children, in addition to special posts on health-related world days.
The activities and events concluded with the Breastfeeding Guides Program (English version) which witnessed the graduation of 8 trainees. In Ramadan, the Association held a virtual Ramadan session and a webinar titled “Ramadan and the mother” that was attended by 23 women, including employees and volunteers within the continuing education initiative.
Among the other activities were 2 lectures, in Arabic & English language, for the volunteers in the Association on the new criteria for the baby-friendly hospital, in addition to handing out the amount of Zakat for some prissy families in the Emirate of Sharjah.