Exclusive Breastfeeding: Anambra Govt, WHO, UNICEF Pick 21 Health Structures Baby–Friendly

In recognition of the right of every child to be breastfed, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Anambra State Government have designated twenty-one health facilities in the state as baby-friendly to meet the national exclusive breastfeeding target of fifty per cent by 2025.

The Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu who announced this during the flag-off of the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week, explained that the designation of the health centers is to increase awareness and highlight the huge benefits of breastfeeding to the child and the mother where it can help reduce incidence of breast cancer.

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Dr Ezenyimulu explained that the efforts by the state government has helped to increase exclusive breastfeeding in the state from seventeen to twenty-seven per cent while acknowledging that there is still much to be done to achieve the national target and called on every member of the society to support mothers to practice exclusive and optimal breastfeeding which will eradicate child malnutrition in the state.

The Anambra Cluster Co-ordinator of World Health Organization, WHO, Dr Moses Ohamaeme who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of partnering United Nations’ agencies, commended the efforts of the state government towards increasing awareness on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and assured of their support in making sure that every child is breastfed.

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Advancing the support for breastfeeding, the Transition Committee Chairman of Awka South Local Government Area, Mr Thankgod Anagor, who retired as Director of Public Health, called on men to give maximum support to their wives who are engaged in exclusive breastfeeding, and said that providing psychological and sociological support to breastfeeding mothers will help them to perform better.

World Health Organization says exclusive breastfeeding, that is giving an infant breastmilk only without any food or water for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for the next two years with complementary foods, by population basis, is the optimal way of feeding infants.

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World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated globally from first to seventh August every year with the aim of promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding to achieve sustainable development with this year’s event themed “Step Up Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”.

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