BREASTFEEDING: LAGOS ADVOCATES EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING FOR HEALTHY CHILDREN

… Commemorates Y2023 World Breastfeeding Week with an Awareness Walk, Health Talk

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health District I, Dr. Olufunmilayo Bankole has urged citizens particularly, nursing mothers and pregnant women to support the drive of the State Government to entrench the culture of proper and exclusive breastfeeding in nurturing of babies and infants to healthy and productive members of the society.

Bankole, who made the call on Wednesday at an awareness and sensitisation programme in commemoration of the Y2023 World Breastfeeding Week, advised citizens, especially nursing mothers and pregnant women to ensure that children are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, adding that breastfeeding prevents hunger, malnutrition and ensures food security for babies.

She said the programme, which was organised by the newly created Lagos State Health District I (comprising Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye and Alimosho LGAs) in partnership with the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State, commenced with an awareness walk within the environs of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, followed by health talk on benefits of breastfeeding to nursing mothers and pregnant women at the Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital and Ifako-Ijaiye Primary Healthcare Centre, and culminated with an advocacy visit to the Chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government.

Bankole noted that the Y2023 World Breastfeeding Week themed: “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents” is well thought out, stressing that employers of labour and working-class parents need to understand the role of exclusive and proper breastfeeding in the upbringing and mental development of children.

She added that the State Government will continue to educate, inform and empower actors to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for nursing mothers.

Bankole noted that ensuring proper exclusive breastfeeding practices is a collective responsibility of everybody which should not be left to women gender alone, noting that men also have a supportive role in encouraging their wives to practice proper and exclusive breastfeeding.

She assured that the State Government will not relent in putting in place policies and strategies geared towards creating a conducive atmosphere for nursing mothers to practice proper and exclusive breastfeeding.

The Permanent Secretary stated that beyond the world breastfeeding week commemoration, the Lagos State Government will continue to carry out advocacy and sensitisation programmes to constantly remind citizens of the benefits of proper and adequate breastfeeding for children.

Earlier, the Chairman, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Hon. Usman Akanbi Hamzat commended the State Government for organising the sensitization programme, adding that the yearly commemoration of breastfeeding week celebration will go a long way in getting citizens equipped with adequate and right information about breastfeeding which, he noted, will bring about the nurturing of members of the society.

Speaking in the same vein, the Medical Director, Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Dr. Bamidele Mustapha who was represented by Dr. Awobusiyi encouraged mothers to prioritise the health and well-being of their children with a strong commitment and dedication to breastfeeding them exclusively.

While urging all mothers to take advantage of the lessons learnt from the awareness and sensitisation programme, Bamidele advised mothers to avoid timing their babies while breastfeeding, adding that the child should be allowed to derive maximum satisfaction from breastfeeding.

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