UNICEF, Govt Boost Exclussive Breastfeeding In Ebonyi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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UNICEF, Govt Boost Exclussive Breastfeeding In Ebonyi

Posted: Aug 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Felix Uka, Abakaliki

A total of 8,873 nursing mothers in Ebonyi State has adopted exclusive

breastfeeding out of 15, 303 counselled between January and July this year. This followed the collaboration of UNICEF and Ebonyi State government.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike, disclosed this,

while briefing the press to mark this year’s World

Breastfeeding Week.

He pointed out that 5,127 mothers were practicing Complementary feeding up to

18 months while 927 children were being assisted to eat by fathers.

The commissioner explained that his ministry would undertake advocacy visits to the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, and office of the Head of Service, Dr. Chamberlin Nwele, with a view to

advancing negotiations as to how the period of leave for nursing

mothers could be elongated.

He enumerated the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to include;

prevention of diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, ear infections

among others adding, ‘‘Optimal feeding practices including early

initiation of exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding

while providing complementary foods could reduce mortality among

children by up to 25 per cent.

‘‘Breastfeeding helps mothers and babies to establish a close and loving relationship.  “Exclusive Breastfeeding and breastfeeding on

demand especially in the nights delays the return of menses and

ovulation hence promoting child spacing.

‘‘Breastfeeding is also important for women; assisting to prevent post

partum haemorrhage and weight loss after delivery. It also helps to protect mothers from breast and ovarian cancer and other diseases such

as diabetes and osteoporosis.’’

Umezuruike maintained that the overall goal of the celebration was to

promote child survival through optimal feeding of children as optimal

Infant and Young Child Feeding practices will ensure preventable

developmental milestones in the first 1, 000 days of life.