Vanguard (Lagos)

24 October 2011

Nigeria: Suswam Makes Case for Exclusive Breast Feeding

Photo: Daily Nation
Mothers queue at a health centre for child immunisation.

Benue State First Lady, Arc Mrs. Yemisi Suswam has attributed the rise in child mortality in the country to the failure of mothers to adhere strictly to World Health Organisation recommendations on six months exclusive breastfeeding for babies.

Suswam who spoke at Idekpa during the grand finale of the 2011 Breast Feeding Week regretted that mothers have jettisoned the age long tradition of breastfeeding their children for upward of two years despite its implication on the health of their babies.

Her words: "Malnutrition is responsible, directly or indirectly for about one third of deaths among children under five. Well above two thirds of these deaths are often associated with inappropriate feeding practices, and they occur during the first year of life.

"I am calling on healthcare providers, employers, policymakers, researchers and the community at large to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals in order to avert these preventable deaths", she added.

Earlier in a paper titled, 'Talk to me! Breastfeeding-A 3D Experience', Dr. Silas Ochejele pointed out that despite the fact that breastfeeding is one of the key child survival strategies; there has been a steady decline in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding from 17 to 13 percent in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Benue state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Orduen Abunku said the state was partnering UNICEF 'A' field office to encourage and improve the breastfeeding rate in the state.

"This is aimed at not only meeting the 13 percent national record but also surpass it by 2015", he stated.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2011 Vanguard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Africa: Device May Prevent HIV Transmission

Mothers queue at a health centre for child immunisation.

A nipple shield, often used by mothers who have difficulty breastfeeding, has been modified to reduce the risk of HIV transmission during breastfeeding. Read more »