As Nigeria joins the world to mark the 2018 World Breastfeeding Awareness Week, Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has canvassed support for nursing mothers, saying it will improve the chances of survival for neonates and other children.
This was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Petra Akinti Onyegbule, and made available to LEADERSHIP Sunday yesterday.
The governor who acknowledged that breastfeeding is a key tool in improving child’s survival said, “Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life can avert up to 13 per cent of under-five deaths”.
Speaking while declaring the week open in the state at an event tagged, “Breastfeeding: the foundation of life”, Bello congratulated breastfeeding mothers and their families for the opportunity to be part of perpetuating and strengthening procreation of life.
Noting that breast milk has been proven to be cheap, safe and promote bonding between mother and child, he said he is not unmindful of the fact that maternal nutrition has impacted so much on the nutrition of their babies.
Reeling out other benefits of breastfeeding to include the prevention of breast cancer for mothers, the governor said it also promotes healthy growth and development, supplies all vital nutrients required of the child as well as protects the child from the lethal health problems and diseases such as neonatal jaundice, pneumonia and cholera.
He said, “This is why we firmly believe that breast milk is the ideal nutrition for babies and we support and promote the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. This is followed by the introduction of nutritious and appropriate complementary foods, along with sustained breastfeeding, for up to two years of age and beyond.”
Accordingly, Governor Bello assured working mothers in particular and Kogi mothers in general that his administration is working hard to ensure that delays and irregularities in salary payment are put behind to enable them meet the nutritional needs of their infants.
He reiterated his commitment, as the leader of the New Direction administration, to diversification of the economy of Kogi State, which he said would ensure economic growth and improved human development.
“We encourage people to support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, as the society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly”, he added.
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