From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A group, Save the Children International(SCI) has described Breastfeeding as is one of the cost-effective intervention for the prevention of deaths in children under five years old.
The Media and Communications Manager of the Group Kunle Olawoyin, stated this in a statement marking the 2021 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)
The group explained that Colostrum, the first milk a mother produces, is the most potent natural immune system booster known to science; lactating mothers are encouraged to give it to their babies immediately after delivery.
The statement added that
Exclusive breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children, and a proven lifesaving strategy that helps protect children against several common childhood illnesses, such as diarrhea and pneumonia
The Group also called for an increased support to, and protection of, mothers as well as awareness creation for an optimal exclusive breastfeeding practice in Nigeria
The statement read: “Save the Children International, Nigeria joins the world to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week 2021 and urges the implementation of policies that promote, protect and support exclusive breastfeeding and optimal breastfeeding practices, which is key to improved child survival, development, and contributes to Nigeria’s attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The World Breastfeeding Week aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to both the health and welfare of babies, as well as a wider push for maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction and food security.
“The annual celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week aims at increasing awareness on the health and wellbeing outcomes of breastfeeding on infants, young children, mothers, families and the society at large.”
It further revealed that while speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Protect Breastfeeding, A Shared Responsibility’ with the slogan for Nigeria, “Join Hands! Support Exclusive Breastfeeding”Acting Head of Health and Nutrition, (SCI) Dr Adaeze Oramalu-Ogwuche, said, Breastfeeding week is one of the greatest outreach vehicles for the promotion of optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices to other network of influencers fathers, religious/traditional rulers, institutions and Private sector as they contribute to the exclusive breastfeeding rate in Nigeria.
According to him, it is very important to continue to highlight the importance of breastfeeding and our responsibility, encourage and promote exclusive breastfeeding and improve the health of babies and mothers across the world and in Nigeria