Exclusive Breastfeeding: Health Minster Tasks Stakeholders On Increased Advocacy
The Minister made the called on Thursday while briefing the press and flagging off the 2018 World Breast Feeding Week in Abuja.
Adewole called on mothers to feed their babies with breast milk only, especially within the first 6 months of their lives as children breastfed exclusively hardly became sick.
He said “I must point out that a breastfed child has been provided ideal nutrition as a contributor to his/her healthy growth and development; that child is protected from incidence and severity of infectious diseases resulting in lower morbidity and mortality. The breastfed child, especially the one that is exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life rarely falls sick.”
The Minister said healthy babies enable families to save through reductions in hospital expenditure and the returns could be utilized for other needs in the family. He said that mothers also benefit from the gains of exclusive breastfeeding practice.
“Exclusive breastfeeding helps the post-partum mother’s womb to return to normal shape, her chance of having breast and ovarian cancers are reduced and it contributes to an increase in the space between pregnancies; and her health status is improved considerably before her next pregnancy”
In her statement of Commitment to Support, Protect and Promote Optimal Breastfeeding in Nigeria, the Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed described breastfeeding as the simplest, and least expensive means of meeting the nutritional needs of new born babies.
She said, initiating breastfeeding within the first hour reduces the rate of neonatal mortality by 22 %.
She called for harmonization of all efforts by the different stakeholders on exclusive breastfeeding so as to achieve the set target goal of 50% exclusive breastfeeding by 2025.
“The Ministry of Budget and National Planning, as part of its mandates to harmonized all food and nutrition intervention in Nigeria, will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and other sister Ministries, Department and Agencies to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding practice in Nigeria. Collective, I am sure we can achieve the result”.
The WHO Country representative, Dr. Wondi Alemu Represented by Dr. Andrew Mbewe said that breastfeeding had been identified as very important aspect of human life. He said W H O was concern about the policies strategies as well as research and development to promote breastfeeding in Nigeria.
The Theme of this year’s celebration is “Breastfeeding Foundation of Live”.