Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi
Breakthrough Action Nigeria, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded health partner in collaboration with the Kebbi State Ministry of Health and other Implementing Health Partner (IHP), have emphasized and called for the need to promote exclusive breastfeeding for children in the State.
This call was made at PHC Malisa in Guandu local government area of the state as part of the activities marking this year’s World Breast Feeding Week, the Kebbi State Breakthrough Action, Programs Nutrition Focal person, Rahilla Abdullahi Aiki, explained that supporting breastfeeding is the responsibility of all and sundries.
Rahilla noted that breast milk still remains the most cost-effective yet complete nutrition for the baby’s survival, healthier growth and development, adding that the celebration was aimed at offering the people every knowledge about the positive effect of breastfeeding, especially in promoting and supporting of exclusive breastfeeding which is a high impact intervention for ensuring child survival, growth and development.
Speaking on the theme for the year: “Protect Breastfeeding, A Shared Responsibility” Rahilla explained that it lays emphasis on the fact that breastfeeding offers the society improved health for children and mothers.
‘The key message we have for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is that everyone should recognize his or her role and responsibility in protecting breastfeeding. “
She therefore called on Community leaders, traditional leaders, health system, governments as well as individual to support mothers to initiate early breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, without water, this she said will go a long way in reducing the malnutrition rate in the state.
Others who spoke at the event, including the State Nutritional Officer in the Ministry, of health discouraged the feeding of baby with artificial milk and water as first food, emphasizing that such does not contain the colostrum of mother’s milk which is very essential for the child’s wellbeing.
Other health partners in the state who attended the event are the Integrated Health Program (IHP) among others.