The Jigawa State Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), have organised a sensitisation forum to educate religious clerics on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding by nursing mothers.
The sensitisation was held, on Thursday, in commemoration of the celebration of ‘world breast feeding month’ at the state ministry of health in Dutse.
The executive secretary of the primary healthcare development agency, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim, declared that, “only about 2 per cent of women in the state practice exclusive breastfeeding to their infants of ages from 0 to 6 months”.
The Executive Secretary of the agency noted further that traditional, cultural and superstitious practices among the rural women still militates nursing women from active participation in exclusive breastfeeding in the Jigawa society.
Dr. Kabir stated that the consequence of abuse in exclusive breastfeeding of infants up to 6 months may affect the child’s intelligence and ability to learn among his peers in future.
He said the clerics, who are models that their subjects listen to should use their status to further educate them on the importance of the practice of exclusive breastfeeding to infants up to six months from birth.
The UNICEF nutrition specialist under Bauchi field office, Philomena Irene said the programme is essentially to educate nursing mothers and their husbands to support the practice of exclusive breastfeeding which she said could eliminate poverty and opportunistic diseases amongst the populace.
The chairman council of Ulamas in the state Dr. Zakariya Kandi admonished parents to allow their children the opportunity to suckle the breast milk extensively as is contained in the Qur’an.
Dr. Zakariya said it is in the best interest of the parent to listen to medical experts on the importance attach to the campaign for the collective benefit of all.
Also speaking at the occasion the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr. Damina Ibrahim, said, “gone are the days we subject our children to old practices against exclusive breastfeeding as we are today witnessing a degree of improvement on our grandchildren that were exclusively breastfed,” he said.