Exclusive breastfeeding key to Sustainable Development Goals....UNICEF
By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna Augusts 9..As the world marked world Breastfeeding week, UNICEF said breastfeeding is key to sustainable development Goals (SDGs) with a call on other stakeholders to join the agency to achieve its goals.
Since 1992, the world, breastfeeding week is celebrated from 1st to 7th August every year as a folloW up to the innocent declaration signed in August 1990 by government policy makers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Dr. Florence Oni in her presentation, titled; 'Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development and Addressing the Current Situation and Challenges of Malnutrition in UNICEF Kaduna Field Office States said northern Nigeria was lagging behind in proper breastfeeding, which had resulted to high rate of malnutrition in the region.
She appealed to media to help in sensitizing the general public, particularly parents on the need to exclusively breastfeed their children.
Chief of Kaduna UNICEF Field Office, Utpal Moitra said, breastfeeding within 30 minutes of childbirth equally saves mothers from maternal death. According to him, 2016 World Breastfeeding Week aimed at creating awareness on the relationship between breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding as a key component to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
"Initiation of breastfeeding within 30 minutes after birth saves mothers from the risk of postpartum heamorrage and maternal death and exclusive breastfeeding on demand in the first six months of life without water or any other food starts every baby on healthy path in life, providing all the nutrients the baby requires for optimum growth and development.
"The feeding of the colostrum serves as the first immunisation against a host of diseases the mother must have been exposed to while continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond with appropriate complementary feeding supports optimal health, psychosocial and cognitive development with higher Intelligence Quotient and mental development." He explained.
In her remarks, Kaduna State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. June Gwani said breast milk contains 85% of water, so there is no fear of absence of water in the breast milk.
She kicked against the general notion that an infant need water while be been breastfed, saying all water the baby needs in the first six months of life is in his mother's breast milk.