Enugu extends breastfeeding week to capture rural areas

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Enugu State government has extended the one-week exclusive breastfeeding week to two weeks for serious sensitisation and awareness creation camping to take the message to all the concerned people in the state. The theme of the campaign, ‘Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support’ is aimed at encouraging breastfeeding as it plays a very important role in the early development of a baby.

The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive, Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, George Ugwu, who made this known to BusinessDay, said it was as a result of the interest of the state governor and the love he has for exclusive breastfeeding in the state.

The Executive Secretary also commended the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Enugu Field Office for her support in all the programmes of the agency as it concerns children and women.

“UNICEF work like catalyst to ensure that the dreams of government are made real, both technically, UNICEF does not play with any matter that involves children and women. UNICEF would like you to do it the correct way;, UNICEF goes all the way with us, work in our towns and villages. So, we work with them all the way down to the villages,” he said.

He also appealed to all the stakeholders to join hand and ensure that the people who are supposed to be aware are informed.

“We are calling on all our partners including the media to come and support and join us to bring out this message well and spread the information to the people,” he said.

The key points he said are to emphasise that “immediately a child is born within the first one hour that the child should be introduced to early initiation which means that the child should be put to Breast. Apart from that, breastfeeding should be Exclusive in the first six months of life; exclusive breast feeding- that means giving the child only breast milk, because it is enough, it is healthy, safe and fine for the baby for the six months.”

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He noted that “After, breastfeeding, good complimentary feeding should continue for two years or beyond; these are our core messages and we deliver these messages through the Media, the president generals of various town unions, the traditional rulers and every other persons whose voice can be respected in the society, telling everybody that exclusive breastfeeding is the best for our society.

“That with breast milk alone the babies would be intelligent and well-molded children. This is the message of truth with medically verified approaches that will help the society”

According to him, “We are going to extend the campaign in Enugu State so that it can get to the root of every place in the state. We are going to extend this one for another one week; so, while they are doing one week in other places Enugu State will be doing two weeks so that it can sink into the ears of the concerned people in all the clans in the 17 Local governments areas in the state.”

Enugu State baby-friendly Initiative Coordinator, Pauline Enenwali said appropriate nutrition is also very important and advised the lactating mothers to feed well so that they can have energy to feed their children. She said that the milk runs naturally and they should always feed the babies well.

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