By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Special Adviser on Primary Health Care to the Lagos State Governor, Dr Olufemi Onanuga, has said that the state will join others to sensitise the public on adequate nutrition for children from birth till five years old.Onanuga said the celebration of Breastfeeding Week would give the state the opportunity to sensitise other states of the federation, community and nursing mothers about unquantifiable benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.
A statement made available to newsmen during the 2016 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) with the theme: “Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Developmentâ€™â€™ quoted the Onanuga as stating the need for caregivers, stakeholders as well as the nursing mothers to understand the unquantifiable benefits of exclusive breast feeding.
â€œExclusive breastfeeding is one of the Child Survival Strategies that has been proven by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and endorsed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
â€œIt is for this reason that the WABA,UNICEF and WHO set aside World Breastfeeding Week annually to advocate on the need to practice exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first six months of life,â€™â€™. Onanuga said
He said that the practice of exclusive breast feeding would ensure the provision of vital and adequate nutrients required for healthy and maximal growth and development.
â€œBabies who are exclusively breastfed are protected from severe complications like childhood killer diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia and they also become healthy and productive adults.
â€œExclusive Breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding are part of the key interventions for improving child survival which can save 20 per cent of children under five years of age from morbidity and mortality.â€