2022 World breastfeeding Week: Borno launches awareness campaign

2022 World breastfeeding Week: Borno launches awareness campaign

  • Lagos restates commitment towards provision and sustenance of breastfeeding-friendly environment

In a bid to create awareness, promote and sustain exclusive breastfeeding, especially for infant’s health and survival, Borno state government through the wife of the Executive Governor of Borno state, Dr Falmata Zulum, has launched a campaign.

The 2022 theme for World Breastfeeding Week, ‘Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support’, seeks to involve governments, communities, and individuals. The theme aims to raise awareness about sustainable breastfeeding environment.

“This years’ theme is tilted towards increasing awareness for most especially, mothers in the state”. Dr. Falmata Zulum said at the commemoration event in Maiduguri on 03 August.

Flagging off 2022 Breastfeeding Week in the state, a week-long celebration to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as well as  to help institutionalize breastfeeding within health care systems, she said, “I wish to re-affirm our commitments as a state. We would continue to put more efforts and structures, including at the community levels, to ensure that the importance of exclusive breastfeeding is amplified.” 

Mrs Zulum added, “we would also continue to work with the traditional and community leaders to ensure success is achieved. And I would like to appreciate WHO and partners for their continual support in ensuring that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding is increased in the state”. 

Hajiya-Zuwaira-Gambo giving Dr. Zulum’s welcome remarks
Photo: WHO.

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years and beyond, provides an infant the best start possible to life. Breast milk is safe and clean and provides the energy and nutrients an infant need for the first few months of life.

It continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year. Early initiation of breastfeeding, within one hour of birth, protects the newborn from infectious and chronic diseases, and reduces newborn mortality. It facilitates emotional bonding of mother and baby and has a positive impact on the duration of exclusive breastfeeding.

Also, at the launch of the campaign in Borno, the WHO Northeast Emergency Manager, Dr Richard Lako reiterated that the position on breastfeeding remains the same and will, “continue to provide technical support to the state government in achieving the target, set by the World Health Assembly of 50% infants being exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life by the year 2025.”

Dr Lako added that it remains important that awareness on exclusive breastfeeding targeting mothers, be enhanced in the state since the act guarantees safe, nutritious, and accessible source for infants.  

Also, the Lagos State government flagged off the week  by  restating  the importance of breast milk, saying it remains the catalyst for improving maternal and child health indices.

The state government disclosed this at press briefing to outline planned activities for this year’s WBW.

Speaking at the meeting, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye said: “The importance of Breastfeeding as a child survival strategy especially in the first six months of life is known to be the catalyst for improving maternal and child health indices. 

“Breast milk adds no economic burden on household income because it is freely given by nature. It is important to reiterate that breastfeeding is the key to attaining sustainable development goals”, he said.

He also stated that the State Government is committed to the provision and sustenance of a breastfeeding-friendly environment by strengthening the capacity of actors; including policy makers, healthcare providers, and community influencers to protect, promote and support breastfeeding across different levels of the society.

He said: “The theme for Year 2022 World Breastfeeding Week is “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”; has been carefully selected as it explains our focus on strengthening the capacity of Actors that have to protect, promote and support breastfeeding across different levels of the Society. These actors make up the warm chain of support for breastfeeding, and they include: policy makers, healthcare providers, and Influencers in the communities”.

The Permanent Secretary explained that WBW is designed to promote, protect and support Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices from first hour of birth up to six months of life; and sustains Breastfeeding for up to two years of age, in addition, to the inclusion of appropriate Complementary Feeding from six months of age for optimal growth and development.

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