By Asma’u Ahmad
The Oyo State Government said it is determined to achieve more than 50 per cent exclusive breastfeeding by nursing mothers by the end of 2017. The state Commissioner of health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan, the stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan on the forthcoming 2017 World Breastfeeding Week.
Dr Adeduntan said that the state government would embark on sensitisation to commemorate the week in the state.
Health Reporters gathered that the August 1 to 7 has been designated as the week, which is an annual event to ensure that children from ages 0-6 months are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
The commissioner said that the 50 per cent was in line with the provision of the National Strategic Plan on nutrition, adding that it would be achieved through the sensitisation of nursing mothers.
“A sensitisation programme to enlighten nursing mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding will hold at the Oni and Sons Hospital on August 2, Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu on August and Atiba and Oyo West will hold on August 7,” the commissioner said.
Adeduntan regretted that many pregnant women had lost their babies ignorantly to the use of unapproved herbal concoction and by predominantly giving them water.
He explained that the exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and complementary diet till the first two years, played vital role in the development of a child.
“Breast milk is a complete diet given to women by God and any baby that feeds on it will not likely get sick. Less than 30 per cent of the mothers in the state engaged in exclusive breastfeeding. “Over 70 per cent do not practice exclusive breastfeeding for their newborns in the first six months of life,” he said.
Adeduntan advised the mothers to embrace the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, saying that such would serve as a defence for their babies against diseases. He said that well-breastfed children would be mentally sound and grow
well and healthy.