Visit Health Centres For Dietary Advice On Exclusive Breast Feeding
Nursing mothers, care givers and residents in Lagos state have been urged to embrace and support the practice of exclusive breast feeding by visiting any of the public health facilities in the State during the World Breastfeeding Week which started Monday.
Making the call was Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Healthcare, who also appealed for mothers to seek for dietary and growth advice for the benefit of their children.
Onanuga, who spoke during a press conference to mark the occasion in Lagos, called for integrated support for child survival interventions.
He said: “It is therefore pertinent to use this medium to appeal to nursing mothers, care givers and the entire residents of the state to embrace the practice of exclusive breast feeding and visit any of the public health facilities in the state during the breastfeeding week and thereafter for dietary and growth advice for the benefit of their children.”
The theme for this year’s event is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together” with the slogan, ‘Sustainable Partnership and the Rule of Law.’
According to WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, 2006, “Exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding are part of the key interventions for improving child survival, potentially saving about 20 per cent of under – five children.
“About 50 to 60 per cent of under-five mortality is due to malnutrition which is largely caused by poor breastfeeding practices and inadequate complementary feeding,” WHO database showed.
Onanuga explained that the objectives of this year’s breastfeeding week include, “to inform: understand the importance of working together. To anchor: recognise your role and the difference you make within your area of work. To engage: reach out to others to establish areas of common interest. To galvanise: Work together to achieve the SDGs by 2030.”
According to the governor’s aide 2014 SMART Survey, showed that the national and Southwest exclusive breastfeeding rate are 25.2 per cent and 39.8 per cent respectively.
Research has also shown that only 79.7 per cent of children were breastfed within one day of birth, he added.
“This implies that a lot still has to be done in the area of exclusive breastfeeding and this call for the collective effort of all stakeholders inclusive.”
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