Abia govt harps on exclusive breastfeeding, volunteer mothers engaged

The 2016_08_11_44814Abia State Govern­ment has insisted that exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of life of a baby is very crucial to the fu­ture growth and development of a child, hence all women in the state must adhere to it.
It, however, disclosed that it has engaged the services of women who have practiced ex­clusive breast feeding over the years as volunteers to sensitise women in all nooks and cran­nies of the state on the gains and benefits of the exercise.
Speaking at a media briefing in preparation for the World Breast Feedinig Week, the Ex­ecutive Secretary of the Abia State Primary Health Care Scheme, Dr. Chukwuemeka Oluoha, revealed that the state is targeting 50 per cent in­crease in exclusive breastfeed­ing in the state.
He disclosed that the exclu­sive breast feeding compliance level in the state had risen from 16% in 2008 to 18% in 2013 , and 25% in 2014, reiterating this year, the target is to attain 50 per cent compliance.
Dr. Oluoha further reiterat­ed that the state had engaged the services of some volunteer mothers who have practiced ex­clusive breastfeeding over the years to sensitise nursing moth­ers in their localities on the nu­merous benefits of breast feed­ing children exclusively during the first six months of life.
He urged nursing mothers to strictly adhere to the six months duration of exclusive breast­feeding and resist the tempta­tion of introducing water or oth­er baby supplements.
Oluoha argued that contrary to erroneous belief in some quarters, breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients and water in their right proportion that a baby needs in its first six months.
He revealed non adherence to exclusive breastfeeding accounts for about 30% child mortality in Nigeria, and called on nursing mothers in the state to embrace exclusive breastfeeding .
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