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Script 78.4

Notes to broadcasters

Infant nutrition is crucially important. Infants need breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life. After they are six months old, a variety of other nutritious foods can be introduced alongside continued breastfeeding. This is the advice of health experts, both local and international, who have studied the needs of newborns. Yet this advice is not always followed. More than 10 million children under five die each year. Malnutrition is a contributing factor in more than half of these deaths. Twenty percent of early childhood deaths could be prevented if these simple feeding guidelines were followed.

To adapt this script to your local situation, think about who you might interview. Perhaps someone from the national Health ministry or another health agency, or perhaps a doctor or nurse who specializes in infant care and feeding.


Script

Host:
Welcome to our program! It is Thursday morning again! Today our guest is from the Swaziland National Nutrition Council. By the end of today’s programme, we will know how to keep our most precious resource – our children – healthy by giving them the right foods to eat. Listeners, I will now ask our guest to introduce herself and her topic.

Guest:
Good morning listeners! I am [________] from the Swaziland National Nutrition Council (broadcaster: use local interviewee). Today I will be talking about the importance of good nutrition for all our babies, regardless of the economic status of the family they were born into.

Host:
We have heard what [___________] is going to talk about. Let’s play this song while you are settling and getting ready to listen to what the Swaziland National Nutrition Council (use local interviewee) has to say.

Musical break

Guest:
I will start by telling a short story about two friends: Joyce and Miriam. Joyce and Miriam were best friends. They happened to have babies who were born two months apart. Joyce was rich and could afford everything the baby needed, while Miriam was struggling but conscientious about the food she provided for her family. The two friends had both participated in prenatal care visits while pregnant. Both were taught about the importance of feeding different nutritious foods to infants after they are six months old.

Joyce did not take the lectures seriously. She thought breastfeeding and preparing a variety of nutritious foods were for those who could not afford to buy formulas and processed cereals. She did not breastfeed her baby, but introduced processed cereals when the baby was six weeks old. Miriam, on the other hand, heeded the advice. She breastfed her baby exclusively for the first six months of life. After six months, she gave her baby a variety of other foods while continuing to breastfeed. Her baby grew well and very healthy. Joyce continued giving cereals to her baby even after the child was six months old. She never prepared food for her baby apart from the cereals, which she mixed with water or milk formulas. Her baby developed a rash all over her body and recurrent colds. Miriam tried to talk her friend into preparing her baby a variety of nutritious foods but Joyce did not give in. She thought that formula and cereals were the best diet for a baby born into a rich family. Joyce’s baby ended up being malnourished, while Miriam enjoyed bringing up a bouncing, healthy baby.

Musical break

Guest:
From the story, I wanted to highlight the importance of providing nutritious foods and breast milk to babies, regardless of their economic status. If you are poor, struggle to give the best to your baby, just like Miriam. If you are rich, buy nutritious foods for your baby, because cereals and formula are not enough. Give your baby the best!

Host:
Give your baby the best! I hope these wise words will guide you in caring for growing babies.

Short musical break

Host:
Thanks [___________]. From your story we’ve learned that feeding babies a variety of nutritious foods is the best way to keep them healthy, no matter whether the family is rich or poor.

We are running out of time. We’ll ask [___________] to say bye to our listeners before we close the programme.

Guest:
Thank you for listening. I hope you have benefited from this topic. Thanks to [___________] for inviting me to the programme. Good-bye!

Host:
Thanks for listening. I’m your host [_____________]. Tune in next week, when our guests will be talking about (insert topic you will cover on next program).


Acknowledgements

Contributed by Ncamsile Makhanjane, Nurse Midwife, and Micronutrient coordinator, Swaziland National Nutrition Council, Mbabane, Swaziland.
Reviewed by Thulani Mphosa, Nutritionist, Nutrition and Infant and Young Child Feeding Surveillance Officer, Swaziland National Nutrition Council, Mbabane.