Just picture something for a moment. Imagine President Obama saying that babies get diarrhea because mothers don't wash their breasts. Can you imagine the outrage that would ensue? Well, that just happened. Not Obama, thankfully, he'd never say something like that! And surely if he did, Michelle would wallop him. But the prime minister of Egypt reportedly said on TV that babies in rural areas who get sick and have issues like diarrhea get it because their "ignorant" mothers have dirty breasts. Yes, this guy actually runs a country.
The prime minister, Hisham Kandil, was talking about rural areas of Egypt that have a high rate of infant sickness. The people live in poverty without clean running water. So perhaps there is something to be said for unclean water causing infant diarrhea -- especially if the mom is drinking it. But instead of discussing this, he reportedly said that mothers are "too ignorant to know how to clean their breasts before breastfeeding."
Well, honestly, if the water is unclean, how would they clean their breasts properly anyway? Not to mention that breastfeeding seems like the most proper way to prevent diarrhea rather than giving babies any kind of formula -- not that this would necessarily be available in these regions -- which might be mixed with bad water.
So why not blame it on the water? Why not blame it on the lack of resources -- rather than blaming it on "ignorant" moms and their "dirty" breasts? Why not blame it on a country with extremely poor areas where the people have no social safety net and no education rather than blaming it on moms -- and implying they're just unwashed idiots? Surely if they could do better or knew how to do better, they would.
Sounds like another out of touch politician who has no idea what women -- especially poor women -- have to do to get their babies fed.
Do you think unclean breasts can lead to sick babies?
Image via MotheringTouch/Flickr