Hawa in search of permanent base

National 1 minute, 40 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

LOCAL breastfeeding non-governmental organisation (NGO) Hawa is looking for a permanent space to accommodate its activities.

Speaking to _The Brunei Times _during Hawa’s visit to the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) yesterday, Hawa’s chairperson Hjh Masni Hj Munir said they are seeking support from the government in providing them with a more conducive place to hold their activities to ensure they can continue and run smoothly.

“We’ve been thinking of not having total reliance on the government. We want to be able to stand on our own two feet to ensure that our activities will flow smoothly and sustainably,” she said, adding that with a permanent space, Hawa will be able to counsel mothers, hold talks and demonstrations on breastfeeding and conduct healthcare exercises for young mothers and mothers-to-be.

“We’re looking for support for a new location that’s within good reach of the community in Belait district,” she said.

Launched in 2013, the Belait-based advocate for breastfeeding currently runs its activities at Suri Seri Begawan Hospital, where they are allocated a room they call ‘Bilik Umi’.

Hawa has more than 50 members, comprising retired health experts and retired senior citizens.

Activities conducted by Hawa include sharing knowledge with mothers on breastfeeding as well as raising awareness on breastfeeding by organising charity sales and workshops.

Hjh Masni said as part of its outreach programme, Hawa has previously met with mothers in Mukim Labi and Kg Sg Teraban, bringing in health professionals to offer advice. It has also held discussions with mothers from more rural areas on various issues.

She said despite their drive over the past three years to get more mothers to choose breastfeeding, more needs to be done in terms of raising awareness and in supporting mothers to breastfeed.

Hjh Masni said many new mothers don’t have direct knowledge of breastfeeding.

Yesterday’s visit to HPC saw members of Hawa being briefed on the daily activities and services the centre provides and tour its Health Gallery.

The Brunei Times