BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
The UNICEF Chief Field Officer in Borno State, Geoffrey Ijumba, has said that exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in the Northeast is suffering a discount, especially among those in Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camps.
Ijumba raised the alarm at the week end at a joint launching of community campaign to promote and support breastfeeding to mark this year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) in Maiduguri.
The Permanent Secretary in the Borno State Ministry of Health, Dr. Abubakar Hassan, also said that most of the IDPs in camps are women, nursing over 350, 000 children. He declared that; breastfeeding prevents other diseases among infants.
“Exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in camps and host communities of Borno State guarantees a healthy population,” Dr. Hassan said, adding that it will help mothers address their problems.
Ijumba reiterated that partners promoting the breastfeeding community campaigns are reaching out through the media by engaging traditional,
religious and community leaders to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding.
WHO’s Technical Nutrition Officer, Rukhsana Shereen also said: “Breastfeeding is not a one-woman job. Mothers need support from their husbands, family members, community, health workers and governments.They are to give their children the healthiest possible start to life.”
The Director of Primary Healthcare Development Agency in the state, Dr. Hyelni Mshelia, said that breastfeeding has four objectives to “inform, anchor, engage and galvanise” by working together to achieve sustainable breastfeeding through husbands.