From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
A non-governmental organisation, Plan International Nigeria, has canvassed for men’s support to nursing mothers in Borno State to ensure optimal breastfeed of infants and child survival.
The global body, while soliciting for support to child-bearing mothers at an event to mark this year World Breastfeeding Week, in Maiduguri, Borno’s capital, noted that most women in the area could not exclusively breastfeed their babies due to various factors.
Plan International Programme Manager for Food Security and Nutrition Sect, Emmanuel Nuhu said the organisation discovered many were unable to exclusively breastfeed their children from the first hour of birth to sixth month due to overwhelming house chores.
“Most time, women are overwhelmed with house chores and not having enough time to breastfeed their children. In some instance, women aren’t getting enough support from men,” he disclosed.
He also identified challenge of right space to feed their babies especially for families taking refuge in IDPs camps. He said inadequate maternity leave for working mothers also affect exclusive breastfeed of their children.
He pleaded with men to show more understanding to nursing mothers and guardian towards improving breastfeed of children. He also urged health workers especially at the community level to show more commitment to their works by providing right information to mothers about gains of breastfeeding to children.
The world breastfeeding week is a global campaign officially celebrated from 1st to 7th August to strengthen breastfeeding of children and drum up support for child nutrition. This year’s theme is Step up for breastfeeding: Educate and support.