UNICEF Chief of Maiduguri Field Office, Mr. Samuel Sesay said several lactating mothers were educated by the development partners on the importance of breastfeeding a child up to six months after birth.
Sesay disclosed this yesterday in Maiduguri, the state capital, marking the annual World Breastfeeding Week, added that UNICEF would continue to support the Borno State government and the entire Northeast to ensure that children survive and thrive.
He said the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) has referred more than 92,000 mothers with breastfeeding challenges for maternal, infant, and child nutrition.
“UNICEF is providing micronutrient powders and life-saving therapeutic food to children with acute malnutrition while more than 490,000 mothers and caregivers have been reached with personal hygiene, nutrition, and COVID-19 prevention information.
“The World Breastfeeding Week is an annual opportunity to assess challenges and progress recorded on the path of exclusive breastfeeding.
“The quality of the gathering showed the importance that the people and government of Borno State attached to child nutrition and overall wellbeing,” Sesay said.
WHO Emergency Manager for Maiduguri, Mr. Richard Lako said fewer than half of all newborn babies are breastfed in the first hour of life, leaving them more vulnerable to disease and death.
“Appropriate infant feeding can save lives and ensure optimal growth and development. I therefore urge you all to join our collective call for the support, promotion, and protection of breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding also acts as a baby’s first vaccine, protecting them from common childhood illnesses,” Lako said.
He said only 44 percent of infants are exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life, short of the World Health Assembly target of 50 percent by 2025.
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