Breast milk plays a vital role in reducing child mortality. It has all the nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life and its health benefits extend into adulthood. This is why organisations, like UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO), recommend exclusive breastfeeding – no other food or drink, not even water – for infants in this period.
Across the world, COVID-19 has persuaded people to think more carefully about changing their behaviour. We need the private sector, NGOs and government officials to change their behaviour, for example, by prioritising the sale of food that is healthy over food that is profitable, and favouring community-driven approaches over top-down directives.
The world is in an unprecedented situation in which unprecedented moves must be made, and we should be ready to acknowledge mistakes and improve our individual and collective behaviours.
Despite South Africa’s food secure status at national level and the evidence that the country produces more food than it needs, there is a worrying degree of food insecurity at household level. The 2017 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) report “Towards measuring the extent of food security in South Africa: An examination of hunger and food inadequacy” reveals that 20% of households did not have access to adequate food during the period studied.