Kaduna State Govt. urges exclusive breastfeeding for healthy growth of babies

Kaduna State Government has harped on the need for nursing mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding to ensure healthy growth and development of babies.

The state Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Haruna said this in an interview with our correspondent in Kaduna on Monday.

Haruna spoke on the occasion of the commemoration of the 2021 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), an annual global campaign held between Aug. 1 and Aug.7.

According to Haruna, the aim is to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise action on breastfeeding and related issues.

She explained that early initiation of breastfeeding in the state was presently 28.9 per cent according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2017, while only 19.9 per cent of infants were exclusively breastfeed.

Haruna, however, said that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding had increased to 27.9 per cent, adding that strategies had been put in place to further increase the rate to 60 per cent by 2025.

She also said that breastfeeding was a component of Infant and Young Child Feeding that provided a child with all the needed nutrients for healthy growth and development.

The nutrition officer said that the 2021 campaign with the theme, “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”, was to spur stakeholders’ support to promote breastfeeding.

According to her, adequate breastfeeding practices are essential for a smart, strong and healthy baby to have a good start in life.

“Early initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding will support a child to grow to full potential and contribute to national development,’’ she said.

Haruna called on all stakeholders to support lactating mothers feed their babies within an hour of birth and give the child only breast milk for the first six months.

She called on healthcare providers, employers, policy makers, husbands and other family members to create an environment that would be conducive for breastfeeding at home, offices and public places.

The nutrition officer noted that the WBW campaign had begun in the state on radio and television stations to create the needed awareness on the importance of breastfeeding.

She identified some of the activities lined up for the week to include a news conference, baby show, community dialogue and symposium on breastfeeding targeting students.


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