By Asmau Ahmad
The Federal Government of Nigeria said it has scaled up advocacies to increase exclusive breastfeeding practices to promote nutrition for children and mothers.
Mr Uruakpa John, Director, Micro Nutrients Deficiency Control (MNDC), Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed this during a sensitisation walk in commemoration of the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) in Abuja.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a difference for Working Parents.”
John said the walk was part of activities to scale-up advocacies for exclusive breastfeeding, especially in the first hour of birth to six months, before introducing complementary feeding.
“You must exclusively breastfeed your child for the first six months the immunity of that child is built against any ailments. And this will equip the child nutritionally to grow properly,” he said.
Miss Princes Usung, Lead Midwife, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, an NGO, said the sensitisation exercise was to educate the public on the nutritional value of breastfeeding.
“It is advisable that policy makers and employers set aside breastfeeding cubicle for nursing mothers so that during the working hours they can take some time off to breastfeed their babies.
“The importance of breastfeeding is that it makes the baby healthy and it is easily digestible and provides nutritional values for the babies development and growth.
“The men should also be given more time to support breastfeeding because it goes hand in hand because collaborative support will foster optimum breastfeeding,” she said.
Various partners, NGOs and Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) participated in the walk to create more awareness on the importance of breastfeeding.