By Khadijah Aliyu
The media have been charged to intensify campaigns, that will strengthen the national regulatory and policy environment on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
A nutrition specialist with the united nations children’s fund (UNICEF) Kano field office, Mr. Oluniyi Oyedokun made the call during a media dialogue on, stronger with breast milk only, organized by Abubakar Rimi Television Kano in collaboration with UNICEF.
According to him, the media have a vital role to play, by calling the attention of government and relevant stakeholders, to increase funding to implement, monitor, and enforce policies and plans that support exclusive breastfeeding.
The nutrition specialist noted that in 2018 the Nigeria Demographic and health survey (NDHS) and National nutrition and health survey (NNHS), indicate that Kano state has 3.09 million children below the age of five, out of a total figure of 1.5 million are stunted, 108,544 wasted while 2.03 million are anemic representing (66%).
On the desired positive outcome, Director General ARTV Kano, Hajiya Sa’a Ibrahim, noted there’s an urgent need for the media to engage and rededicate themselves, to in-depth analysis on exclusive breastfeeding.
She noted that educating parents and stakeholders on the negative impacts of lack of exclusive breastfeeding would go a long way in mitigating stunted growth, low IQ, and child mortality among others.
Earlier in his remark, deputy director of public health, state primary health care development agency, Malam Murtala Inuwa said lactation should commence immediately after birth as no artificial food can provide 100% of the nutrients needed by the baby.
He stressed that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months strengthens the bond between mother and child, and boosts the immune system.
In a session titled ‘discussion on Promoting stronger with breast milk only’ communication specialist UNICEF field office Kano, Mr. Samuel Kaalu, said the activity was organized to commemorate world 2022 breastfeeding week.
He highlighted that the campaign would assist in pushing for exclusive breastfeeding in the kano state.