Breastfeeding Remains The Child’s life-Saver – UNICEF
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, has said exclusive breastfeeding remains the foundation for the child’s survival.
It added that children mortality and illnesses could be prevented through exclusive breastfeeding and zero water practices.
This was disclosed by the Nutrition specialist, UNICEF Rivers field office, Mrs. Ngozi Onuora during a zonal media dialogue in Uyo for select journalists on the commemoration of the 2021 World Breastfeeding week by UNICEF in collaboration with Broadcasting Corporation of Abia state.
Onuora, however, expressed worry over the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding, saying it is a sin for mothers not to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
She also disabused the lminds of some mothers that breastfeeding causes breast sagging, saying that mothers who deprive their children of breast milk due to such reasons are neglecting their duties to the child.
She, therefore, urged stakeholders including the media to intensify advocacy on exclusive breastfeeding as the benefits to the development and overall well-being of a child are enormous.
She said, “It is everybody’s responsibility to protect children. And I want to tell us that it is a sin for mothers not to practice exclusive breastfeeding which is child’s first food as an infant. It is also a more sin for us individuals, stakeholders in the society that are not encouraging mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
“Exclusive breastfeeding has a lot of benefit. Breastfeeding is a powerful life-saver. It is also critical to the long term health and well-being of both mother and child. Unfortunately, the majority of world’s mothers are not able to optimally breastfeed their children.”
Onuora said the objectives of the media dialogue included among others; sensitization of the public and stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities concerning the protection, support and promotion of breastfeeding; galvanizing governments and donors to invest in breastfeeding.
Speaking earlier, the Director Community Health, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Margaret Etim, told the participants the engagement was formed based on the important role the media plays in information dissemination and awareness creation.