39% of new moms in Niger state are breastfeeding babies
Only 39 percent of new moms in Niger state are breastfeeding their babies, a development that has been decried by the authorities.
Dr Muhammad Makusidi, the state Commissioner for Health, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Minna, at an event commemorating the 2021 breastfeeding week.
He called for immediate enlightenment of new moms on the benefits of breastfeeding to the mother, child and society at large.
Makusidi stated that the ministry would provide materials for enlightenment and awareness creation in the general public.
In addition, the ministry would continue to take adequate steps and measures to promote breastfeeding, colostrum initiation within one hour of delivery, with the overall target of attaining 100 per cent of exclusive breastfeeding among women.
“Niger state government is committed to revitalising breastfeeding centres across the state in order to promote exclusive breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding rate in Niger state is about 39.1 per cent, I describe this as low and this calls for immediate action towards promoting breastfeeding.
“This is through early initiation, use of colostrum and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life without water or any liquid followed with appropriate complementary feeding from 6 to 24 months and beyond, ” he said.
He noted that breastfeeding was the bedrock for achieving child survival goals and reducing the incidence of malnutrition during the first 100 days, from preconception to two years of age.
For this reason, the ministry would continue its sensitisation of rural communities and their environs, while complying with World Health Organisations (WHO) recommendations.
The commissioner also stated that the government was committed to making a success of breastfeeding as a requisite nutrition process by ensuring that every child had the right to nutrition through safe and affordable food for adequate nutrition.
The annual breastfeeding week is celebrated every 1 August to 7 August to increase awareness of the wellbeing outcomes of breastfeeding for infants, young children and mothers.
This year’s celebration has as its theme: “Support Breastfeeding, a Shared Responsibility”.