The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has intensified its campaign for exclusive breastfeeding for babies during the first six months of life.
Reports indicate that only two out of 10 babies are currently being breastfed in Katsina State, a development which UNICEF describes as unhealthy for the well-being of both mother and child.
Speaking at a media dialogue session on Wednesday as part of activities marking the 2022 World Breastfeeding week, the UNICEF Nutrition Manager at the Kano field office, Elhadji Diop, noted that exclusive breastfeeding improves the child’s IQ, general education come-out as well as the mother’s health, among other benefits.
According to him, “initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for six months and up to two years or beyond, offer powerful line of defence against malnutrition for the child.”
According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, Katsina State currently has 21 per cent average for exclusive breastfeeding with a government plan to reach 50 per cent by 2030.
The theme of the 2022 breastfeeding campaign is, “Stronger with Breast Milk Only.”