The Oyo state government has expressed its commitment to achieve more than 50 percent exclusive breastfeeding by nursing mothers by the end of year 2017, saying that series of sensitization activities will be done to commemorate the 2017 World Breastfeeding week in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan said the 50%, which is in line with the provision of the National Strategic plan on Nutrition, will be achieved based on the concerted efforts by the Oyo State Government to sensitise nursing mothers on the importance of breastfeeding.
Dr Azeez Adeduntan stated this at the weekend in Ibadan while speaking on the forthcoming 2017 World Breastfeeding week, a global celebration to promote children from ages 0-6 months to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
According to him “a sensitization programme to enlighten nursing mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding will hold at the Oni and sons Hospital on Wednesday 2nd of August, 2017, Adeoyo hospital Yemetu on Friday 4th of August 2017 while the sensitization train will move to Atiba and Oyo West on Monday 7th of August, 2017.
He regretted that a number of pregnant women lose their babies ignorantly through the use of unapproved herbal concoction or giving their children water.
He explained that the exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and the introduction of complementary diet till the first two years of life, play a vital role in the development of a child adding “Breast milk is a complete diet given to women by God and any baby that feeds on it will not likely get sick.
The Commissioner noted that less than 30 percent of the mothers in the state engaged in the exclusive breastfeeding while over 70 per cent do not.
He however advised mothers in the state to embrace exclusive breastfeeding, saying it will serve as babies’ defence against diseases just as it helps them grow well, mentally and physically.