Why exclusive breastfeeding is important

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Professor Adewole, Health Minister: Over to you!
Prof. Adewole, Health Minister

(NAN) Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, the Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board, on Tuesday said there was need to take the campaign on exclusive breast feeding to the grassroots.

Mohammed, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, added that breastfeeding was key to sustainable development.

He said that 70 per cent of the country’s population is concentrated in the rural areas; hence the need to take the campaign to such areas.

“Breastfeeding lays the foundation for good health for all our children both in the short and the long term, while also benefiting mothers.

“We must therefore take the message of exclusive breastfeeding to the grassroots because this is the only way we can achieve sustainable development,’’ he said.

Mohammed revealed that the goal of the board was to reach out to a total of 860 communities in the FCT with its ongoing campaign on breastfeeding.

He said that the board had so far been able to reach out to 50 communities scattered around the six area councils of the FCT.

“We still have a lot to do as we are far from our target. There are 810 communities scattered around Gwagwalada, Kuje, Karshi, Bwari, Kwali and Abuja Municipal Council that are yet to be reached.

“Our goal is to train health workers in these areas who will then teach the mothers on the need to breastfeed their children exclusively for a period of six months,’’ he said.

He said that international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING), Save the Children, among others, had been solidly behind the cause.

“We would like to appreciate all our partners who have always collaborated with us in carrying out this message to the grassroots.

“Apart from our international partners who have been solidly behind us, we are calling on other civil societies, NGOs, Youth organisations, including the media to join the crusade.

“The exclusive breastfeeding campaign must include all stakeholders and the public in general.

“With all hands on deck, I believe we will be able to achieve our target in no distant time,’’ he said.

NAN recalls that the FCT 2016 World Breastfeeding week ran from Aug. 2 to 6.

Activities that marked the week-long programme included a Town Hall meeting, Grand Baby show, as well as a Breastfeeding Walk Show from the Old Parade Ground to Area 1. (NAN)

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