Enugu Govt harps on proper exclusive breastfeeding procedures to eliminate stunted growth

Posted by News Express | 11 August 2020 | 772 times

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•ENS-PHCDA Executive Secretary, Dr George Ugwu

 

By CHARLES IWUOHA

The Enugu State Government has stressed the importance of proper exclusive breastfeeding which goes without giving the baby water for the first six months.

This, it noted, would fully guarantee its immense benefits for the child, mother, family, community and state.

The Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), Dr George Ugwu, disclosed this to newsmen in Enugu on Monday.

Ugwu spoke on the background of the ongoing statewide month-long exclusive breastfeeding sensitization being organised by the ENS-PHCDA. It started from August 1. 

He said that during exclusive breastfeeding, the feeding of the baby must be done on the baby’s demand for food and “never on the personal timing or convenience of the nursing mother for any reason.”

Dr Ugwu also said that the nursing mother must adopt a right and up-right sitting position during breastfeeding as well as ensure that the baby’s head is slightly up-right.

He said that the massive statewide sensitisation on exclusive breastfeeding at PHC centres and public places/gatherings would be used to teach nursing mothers local and cheap nutritious foods that would surely assist them in doing exclusive breastfeeding. According to him, exclusive breastfeeding would support the Agency's routine and special immunizations to produce fast growing and developing babies and in the long run reduce illness among infants generally.

“The State Government has trained, retrained and deployed state and local government health and exclusive breastfeeding educators, local health focal persons and volunteers on vital exclusive breastfeeding messages and demonstrations.

“This move coupled with our ongoing routine and special immunisations will definitely reduce the health burden of infants within the state.

“It would largely complement what Her Excellency, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, is already doing on ensuring that children in Enugu State do not have stunted growth/development due to malnutrition and lack of nutritious feeding from the early days of life.”

He also emphasised on the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding of the child within the first one hour of birth, and exclusively, running for first six months without water.

He said that there was a need to introduce solid local nutritious foods and water after six months to complement continuous exclusive breastfeeding, meant to last for two years or beyond.

“Breast milk remains the only prescribed and balanced food for babies as it contains natural antibodies that help fight viruses and bacteria, as well as lower babies’ risk of having asthma or allergies,” he said.

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week, which was held from August 1 to August 7, was themed: ‘Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet’.


Source: News Express

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