World Breastfeeding Week: Borno’s First Lady Launches Awareness campaign

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Wife of the Borno State Governor, Dr Falmata Zulum has launched an awareness campaign in Maiduguri to promote and sustain the culture of exclusive breastfeeding for infant’s health and survival.

The theme for this year – “Step up for breastfeeding” seeks to raise breastfeeding awareness by pleading with governments and groups to put safeguards in place for nursing. This year’s theme’s purpose is not just to promote breastfeeding but to bring the breastfeeding community together.

In a statement, distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organisation (WHO) – Nigeria, Zulum highlighted the links between breastfeeding and good nutrition, food security and inequality.

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She said: “I wish to re-affirm our commitments as a state. We would continue to put
more efforts and structures, including at the community levels, to ensure that the importance of exclusive breastfeeding is amplified.”

She also added, “We would also continue to work with the traditional and community leaders to ensure success is achieved. And I would like to appreciate WHO and partners for their continual support in ensuring that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding is increased in the state”.

Breastfeeding, as recommended by the WHO, is the most cost effective way for reducing
childhood morbidity such as obesity, hypertension and gastroenteritis as well as mortality.
Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is essential to ensure the growth, health and development of children to their full potential. Infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, followed by breastfeeding along with complementary foods for up to two years of age or beyond.

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Speaking also at the campaign launch in Borno, Dr Richard Lako, the WHO Northeast
Emergency Manager, stated that the position beneficial stance on breastfeeding cannot be
underrated and will, “continue to provide technical support to the state government in
achieving the target, set by the World Health Assembly of 50% infants being exclusively
breastfed in the first six months of life by the year 2025.”

He also added that it remains important that awareness on exclusive breastfeeding targeting all mothers, be highly enhanced in the state since the act guarantees safe, nutritious, and accessible source for infants.

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