Ada Ezeogu, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, said this at the media dialogue of the Child Rights Information Bureau organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF on Thursday in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The United Nations Children’s Education Fund says exclusive breastfeeding remains one of the best investments in global health.
Ada Ezeogu, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, said this at the media dialogue of the Child Rights Information Bureau organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF on Thursday in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The event was aimed at developing a work plan for media advocacy on breastfeeding.
Ezeogu said that EBF was one of the best investments in global health, adding that every one dollar spent on EBF generated 35 dollars in economic returns.
She said: “Breast milk contains antibodies that help the baby to fight infection. It also lowers risk of respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infections and ear infections among others.”
Ezeogu also said breast milk contains about 88 per cent of water, adding: “Every time the baby suckles the breast of his or her mother, she gives her water through the breast milk.”
She said EBF in the country currently stood at 25 per cent, adding that Nigeria was targeting 50 per cent by 2025.
Ezeogu also noted that non enforcement of workplace breastfeeding policies and lack or inadequate budgetary allocation for nutrition also affects EBF.
According to her, new born babies should be breastfed within the first one hour of birth for the child to have access to colostrum.
Earlier, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had commended UNICEF for its leading role at ensuring that breastfeeding reduces the incidence of death in new born babies.
Mohammed, who was represented by Olumide Osanyinpeju, the Assistant Director, CRIB, said there was need to propagate EBF in Nigerian families.
Mohammed said: “Through your writings, features and commentaries, you can influence community and religious leaders to support health service utilisation by constantly reiterating to their community.
“Breastfeeding will improve the health of our children and greatly benefit the community.”
Earlier, Geoffrey Njoku, the UNICEF Communication Specialist, said the event was to update journalists with more information and materials to hold government accountable to its responsibility to promote EBF.
Njoku added that the workshop was to create opportunities for informed media advocacy on breastfeeding in the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*