The Kebbi and Katsina chapters of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), have called on the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), Federal and state governments to partner and promote women’s access to exclusive breastfeeding.
The call is contained in separate statements signed by the Kebbi Chairperson, Mrs Laiatu Augustine Bamaiyi and the Secretary, Mrs Hassana Abubakar Koko and that of Katsina, Hannatu Mohammed on Saturday.
Bamaiyi and Mohammed commended all those that are “committed to the task of supporting mothers to build a strong foundation of “life and wealth” for our children as “food is life” and “health is wealth”.
“NAWOJ is lending her voice to the call on international donors, to counsel on skilled breastfeeding, as a critical component of support for nursing mothers, in order to make breastfeeding a major component of their feeding pattern for babies.
It also “appealed to governments at all levels to promote exclusive breastfeeding, with benefits for babies, and the economy as analysis has shown that increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding could save the lives of 820 000 children every year.
“Something as simple as better breastfeeding could save a million children a year specially during these period of COVID 19 parents are not finding it easy.
“NAWOJ urges mothers not to relent in the efforts, to engender the safe and healthy society of our dreams regardless of social status as both the rich and the poor are endowed to breastfeed.
“We know that breastfeeding comes with commitment and lot of sacrifices, the NAWOJ is poised to give full support to every effort aimed at counseling and encouraging our women in nurturing the children to become good leaders tomorrow.
“As we congratulate all the women folks in this new month and in commemoration of World Breastfeeding Week 2020, there is the need for the society to avoid care practices that may interfere with optimal breastfeeding, such as the introduction of liquids, infant foods or other breast milk substitutes to babies, except where experts have ruled that advantages of such interventions will outweigh the risks of tampering with the development of the child’s full potential and functionality,” the statements read.