World breastfeeding week: Exclusive Breastfeeding, A Tool To Curbing Malnutrition Among Children – SFH
Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria
In a bid to increasing support for exclusive Breastfeeding as a tool to curbing malnutrition among children, the Society for Family Health (SFH) in commemoration of the World Breastfeeding Week held outreaches, and awareness-raising activities across several Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kaduna state.
Pregnant and lactating mothers, traditional, religious and community leaders were educated on the importance of this exercise.
To further ensure success, a roundtable discussion was held on the 4th of August, 2022 with community leaders in Makarfi LGA of Kaduna state.
World breastfeeding week is celebrated yearly in the first week of August to increase support for exclusive breastfeeding in children less than six months of age.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Step up for Breastfeeding, Educate and Support”. It calls for more awareness of providing a sustainable breastfeeding-friendly environment through the involvement of governments, communities, and individuals.
Speaking, Project Director of SFH Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (SFH ANRiN) project, Mallam Muhammad Murtala Ibrahim said the SFH ANRiN project has recorded measurable success.
“So far, the SFH ANRiN project has reached 150,246 pregnant and lactating women with Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) counselling to educate women on exclusive breastfeeding and other healthy nutrition practices”.
The Wife of Kaduna State’s Governor, Hajia Aishat Ummi Garba El-Rufai, speaking through her representative, the State Project Manager, Umar Usman Bambale assured SFH ANRIN of state government ‘s collaboration.
Breastfeeding she said is key to sustainable development strategies as it improves nutrition, ensures food security, and reduces inequalities between and within countries.
“Kaduna state Government in collaboration with SFH ANRIN is committed to enlightening nursing mothers on the importance of breastfeeding for eradicating malnutrition across the state”. She added.
In a joint remark, Hauwa Usman, Nutrition Specialist, and Aisha Jakada, Adolescents Health Specialist with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, and Dr. Philemon Gabriel, Council Health Secretary said that breast milk is comprised of over 80 percent water and contains all the nutrients in requisite amounts needed for babies’ growth and development.
Also, the wife of Makarfi Local Government Council Chairman, Hajiya Fatima Kabiru Mu’azu Meyere charged mothers, family heads, and other community members to double their efforts in enlightening wives on the importance of breast milk to newborns within the first six months as advised by health experts.
In the same vein, the Council Vice Chairman, Hon. Bello Sani Gimi, who represented the Chairman, thanked implementing partners of the SFH ANRiN project for the great strides and expressed the commitment of the LGA to supporting Nutrition for the wellbeing of families and development of the LGA.
SFH ANRiN and the Kaduna State Government call on the support of all in promoting breastfeeding as it is a tool for improving nutritional outcomes of children, especially in northern Nigeria.