BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto –
Ony about 24 percent of infants in Nigeria get exclusive breastfeeding within the first six (6) months of birth, a survey on National Maternity Entitlement carried out by Alive and Thrive in collaboration with Federal ministry of Health has revealed.
The survey reveals that adequate nutrition in the first 1000 days from pregnancy to two years of age, is critical to enable all children lead a healthier and more productive lives.
Speaking at the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week programme organized by the Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with FHI360/A&T and Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Sokoto State chapter, one of the panelists, Professor, Mohammed Oche from Usman Damfosiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto (UDUTH), called on government at all levels to ensure community baby friendly initiatives.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week: “Enabling Breastfeeding, Making a Difference for Working Parents”, the Sokoto State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Barrister Aisha Dantsoho, reassured that breastfeeding certainly gives the best feeding.
Towing same line of advise, Assistant Controller of Immigration, Aisha Amin, Professor Rabiu Umar, Professor Tahir as well as the representative of UDUTH Chief Medical Director, Professor Raji and the Provost UDUS College of Heath Sciences, Professor Ahmed Saidu Sule, all underscored the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
While pledging their collective support for the full implementation of, “Workplace Breastfeeding Lactation Programme in Nigeria, the academicians noted that breast milk increases infants immune system, stimulates neurological development as well as strengthen mother child bond.
Earlier in his welcome address, Sokoto State Nutrition Officer, Muhammed Alhamza appealed to expectant and nursing mothers as well as their husbands to support exclusive breastfeeding.
In their call to action, Alive and Thrive urged participants to become advocate of exclusive breastfeeding in their respective locations.