The Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF) and other development partners have emphasised the need for nursing mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies to ensure they are healthy.
Mrs Tessy Maina, the Head of Advocacy and Communications of the ABF, made the call on Thursday, in Abuja during an Advocacy walk to sensitise the public, especially nursing mothers, to exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months.
The awareness walk was part of a week-long activities organised by the Aisha Buhari Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, Green Heroes Foundation, and members of NYSC to support the advocacy.
The walk, which started from the Federal Ministry of Health through the Ahmadu Bello Way and terminated at the Wuse Market.
Maina said that the aim of the walk was to promote and support exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers by sanitising them on the economic and health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.
She called on the need for stakeholders to canvass for exclusive breastfeeding.
”We are talking to men and women in the market to let them know that breastfeeding the baby is not only the duties of mothers who gave birth but all parents must ensure children are well breastfeed.
”I believe an exclusively breastfed child will benefit the society and add value to national security.
“If our children are well breastfed; they will have intellectual capacity and do better in school, “she said.
She, therefore, urged development partners to intensify their efforts towards supporting the course of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria.
The Coordinator, Green Heroes Foundation, Mrs Grace Jonathan, urged nursing mothers to exclusively dedicate their breast milk to their babies for six months to ensure good health and wellbeing of the child.
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“The breast we are carrying is not for decoration,” she said.
She also urged husbands to encourage their wives by supporting them with necessary food supplements to exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months.
On her part, Mrs Enyioma Ajah, the Assistant Director, Nursing Services of National Hospital, Abuja, urged relevant authorities to support breastfeeding by establishing crèches in their various offices for nursing mothers to have time to breastfeed their babies when the need arise.
”Breastfeeding helps to tackle infections in babies and help the uterus by bringing it down to normal size early after delivery,“ she said.
Mrs Grace Mogekwu of the Family Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, stressed the need for mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their lives without water to build their immune system.
”After six months, the mother is also advised to have food supplement because after six months the breast milk is no longer enough and no energy to carry the baby.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, the World Health Organisation (WHO) set aside Aug. 1 to 7 of every year to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week.
The theme of the 2021 week is “Protect Breastfeeding and shared Responsibility” (NAN).