The First Lady of Ogun State Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun has charged Nigerians to support and promote nursing mothers’ access to skilled breastfeeding counseling.
Mrs Abiodun gave the charge as part of her efforts to ensure that every child is provided with the best possible start in life by preventing feeding and care practices that interfere with optimal breastfeeding.
The First Lady gave a speech, Friday, August 7, at the commemoration of the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week with pregnant and nursing mothers, held at the Primary Health Centre, Ode Remo, where she urged them to practice exclusive breast feeding for their wellbeing and development of their babies.
Speaking on the theme, “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet” Mrs. Abiodun stressed that skilled counselling services would ensure that mothers and families received the support, information, advice and reassurance needed to nourish their babies optimally and help mothers to build confidence while respecting their individual circumstances and choices.
She added that it was important to find innovative solutions to ensure that access to the essential services was not disrupted and that families continue to receive the breast feeding counselling they needed.
Mrs Abiodun affirmed the present administration had made huge investment at ensuring that exclusive breastfeeding was promoted through training and retraining of health care practitioners on nutritional counselling, which she described as essential, despite the lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Also, speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Elijah Ogunsola, said improving access to skilled counselling for breastfeeding could extend its duration, with benefits for babies, families and the economy.
She enjoined mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding of their children, saying that it was the best way to ensure and build the future of children’s health and well-being.
Earlier, the Family Physician, State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta, Dr. Adefisayo Otunaya, said breastfeeding was key in the overall growth and development of babies right from birth, charging healthcare providers to ensure its commencement in the first hour after birth.
She added that breastfeeding was beneficial to both children and mothers, as it was a form of family planning, noting that it would afford children the opportunity to receive adequate care and attention.
Also, speaking, the Head of Local Government Administration, Remo North Local Government Mrs. Bola Oshin, appreciated the state government’s efforts at improving health care service, as well as ensuring wellbeing of the people, especially at the grassroot level.
On behalf of mothers present, Mrs. Adijat Saka and Omotola Adewunmi thanked the government for putting the health of children and mothers at the forefront of its programmes, assuring that they would practice exclusive breastfeeding for their babies.
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