The Minister of Information and Culture,Alhaji Lai Mohammed has called for urgent propagation of the importance of breast milk for governments,and stakeholders.as well as for mothers to commence exclusive breastfeeding of their new-born within the first five minutes of birth, to last for the first six months of the child’s life’
The minister made in the call in Ibadan the Oyo state capital,at a two day Media Dialogue On Breastfeeding And Global Breastfeeding Collective which was Organised by the United Nations Children;s Fund,UNICEF and UK Department for International Development DFID.
Represented by the Assistant Director,Child Rights Information Bureau,Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju the minister said there was the need .to propagate the importance of breastfeeding in the country.`
“There is need for all to rise up for the propagation, as early breastfeeding can make the difference between life and death. Government alone cannot fight this cause, hence, the need for collaboration with agencies, NGOs and other partners and organizations to advocate on how best to address the issue.”
.“Government can not fight the cause of breastfeeding. All should rise up for the propagation of cause as early breastfeeding can make a difference between life and death of a child”,
In a presentation titled breastfeeding :Importance and Benefits To Children and the Role of UNICEF,the Nutrition Specialist,UNICEF ,Mrs Ada Ezeogu noted that introduction of water during exclusive breast feeding hinders the process.
She called on mothers,caregivers .and health workers to avoid giving babies water as the breastmilk contains all the nutrient the child needs.
In his remarks, the UNICEF Chief of Akure Field office, Mr. Singh Sandhu said this year’s edition of the annual world breastfeeding week with the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together” was a significant event to promote breastfeeding.
“Breastfed children have at least 6 times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children. An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child,” he said.
On her part,UNICEF Communication Officer, Blessing Ejiofor that the dialogue “is to provide journalists with more information and hold government accountable to its responsibility by promoting breastfeeding.”
UNICEF Communication Specialist, Geoffrey Njoku said, “There is need for aggressive reportage on breastfeeding with focus on increasing government funding to increase the rate of breastfeeding in Nigeria.”
The world breastfeeding week 2017 has the theme sustaining breastfeeding together.