The Borno Primary Healthcare Development Agency (PHCDA) has announced plans to establish baby-friendly spaces in work places to enable lactating mothers to breastfeed their babies.
The Director of the agency, Dr Sule Mele, made this known at an event to mark World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)
on Friday in Maiduguri.
The breastfeeding week, observed in about 120 countries around the globe since 1992 between Aug. 1 and Aug. 7 has
“Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” as its theme for 2019.
The slogan was chosen to include all types of parents in today’s world, focusing on empowerment to both parents
to realise the goals of breastfeeding.
The Borno PHCDA director, therefore, said that the move by the agency to create breastfeeding spaces in work places would encourage career mothers, as well as improve nutrition and health status of children.
He added that “the agency has commenced advocacy for creation of baby-friendly spaces in work places across the state
for mothers to breastfeed comfortably while at work.”
Mele added that the measure would also help to prevent malnutrition and ensure food security at all times.
According to him, the agency has outlined activities to celebrate the week which include radio jingles and TV programmes aimed at improving awareness on breastfeeding and intensive Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) strategies.
He commended the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Food
Programme (WFP) over their support to the programme.
Wife of the Borno Governor, Hajiya Falmata Zulum, reiterated the state government’s commitment to improve
reproductive health and quality healthcare service delivery in the state.
While commending the agency and its partners, Zulum pledged support to the nutrition, maternal and child health campaigns.
Geoffery Ijumba, the UNICEF Chief Field Officer in Borno, said studies indicated that breastfeeding reduces death from respiratory infection, diarrhea and other diseases.
Ijumba, represented by Mary Maketo, noted that breastfeeding has profound impact on a child’s survival; health, nutrition and development, adding that breast milk provide nutrients and vitamins needed for infant’s growth.
He added that “the potential impact of optimal breastfeeding practices is especially important in locations like Borno, with a high burden of disease, low access to clean water and sanitation.”
The governor’s wife distributed nutrition supplements to 200 breastfeeding mothers who attended the exercise.