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Friday, January 27, 2023

Panama celebrates Mother’s Day with disparities

According to historians, the national holiday is taken for the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

Scholars say the anniversaries date back to the 1920s and 1930s, a fact that would change Isthmus society.

Under the administration of President Belisario Porras, a proposal was approved to celebrate Mother’s Day in Panama on May 11, 1924.

Six years later, a group of women from high society and the Catholic Church suggested and sent a letter to the then First Lady, Hersilia de Arosemena, wife of President Florencio Arosemena, asking her to change the date of 11 May to 8 December. Immaculate Conception Day.

Currently, various government programs in Panama promote maternal and child health, including the Kangaroo Mothers Project, which is carried out with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), but with limited scope.

The objective of the project is to provide adequate nutrition to the premature newborn; The warmth of the mother and father, which has been shown to be beneficial to the health of the minor.

Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a newborn’s life remains a challenge for mothers in Panama, despite the contributions it provides to the child, the mother, and society.

Over the past four years, the percentage of mothers who exclusively breastfeed their child has decreased. According to the Ministry of Health’s (MINSA) National Survey of Sexual and Reproductive Health in 2015, only 28.1 percent of women exclusively breastfed in the first six months.

“Now it’s even worse,” said Mario Rodríguez, national head of MINSA’s section for children and adolescents. The last survey conducted (2019) showed that “we have fallen to 24.6 per cent,” he lamented.

Regarding regulations that protect and promote breastfeeding, Panama has Law No. 135 of March 23, 2020, which amends Law 50 of 1995, which modifies the Labor Code.

“This law guarantees that working women, in their breastfeeding period, have the confidence and security to continue working without fear of losing their jobs,” said Yelitza González, director of Gender and Labour.

World Nation News Desk
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