From Gyang Bere, Jos
Stakeholders in Bauchi and Plateau States on Wednesday upheld the imperative of exclusive breastfeeding for the survival of infant children in Nigeria.
This was disclosed during a two days Dialogue to Promote Awareness on Exclusive Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition in Commemoration of the 2022 World Breastfeeding week in Bauchi Field office organised by Bauchi State Radio Corporation (BRC) in collaboration with UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, held in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
The stakeholders acknowledged the important role of the media partners who are key drivers towards Community sensitisation, especially when it comes to behavioural change drive against negative practices among Community members.
Umar Muhammad Shira, the BRC/UNICEF Desk Officer, said as part of the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week, the media is strategically engaged to support the dissemination of the key messages about Exclusive Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition in the COVID-19 era.
He maintained that the meeting was expected to strengthen the capacity of media partners toward Child-focused reporting, particularly Nutrition using the EBF approach.
He noted that it would also help to strengthen the capacity of media partners to promote safe exclusive breastfeeding in COVID-19 and create awareness of the role of warn chain actors in promoting safe Exclusive Breastfeeding.
The Desk Officer further explained that media, as advocacy channels towards nutrition and especially EBF, are to focus mainly on nutrition EBF in relation to 2032 with the theme, “Step up for Breastfeeding”.
The media are expected to brainstorm with nutrition officers conceiving key messages for onwards dissemination via partnerships built toward child-focus.
The Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Mrs Philomena Irene, said the Dialogue to Promote Awareness on Exclusive Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition for the past three years the meeting has not been held because of COVID-19.
She expressed happiness to see that the meeting is taking place again and to know that the Nutrition messages will now be in daily newspapers, radio and TV to help sensitised the people and create awareness.
According to her, Nigeria is still very far on nutrition issues especially issue that has to do with breastfeeding, which is still very alarming and shameful.