Lagos State government has recently bemoaned the poor practise and late initiation of exclusive breastfeeding in the state, as it urged different groups, bodies and stakeholders to synergize to support the crusade.
In an event coordinated by Alive and Thrive in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, to mark the World breastfeeding week, the Nutrition Officer of the State, Mrs Olubunmi Braheem labelled problem encountered to be the late initiation of the programme alongside carrying out exclusive breastfeeding by mothers.
“It is true that in the state, 99 percent of babies are being breastfed, adding that its just that it is not done at an early stage.
“The area where improvement needs be made is on area of carrying out exclusive breastfeeding, as only 51.8 percent are breastfed occasionally.
Nutrition Officer Braheem stressed also that lactating mothers are not alone embedded with duty of carrying out exclusive breastfeeding, early initiation, and continued breastfeeding for 24 months, added that husbands, guardian, health workers are also part of the process.
“Lactating mothers need protection, not just from individuals, but from the government as well, that is why six months maternity leave is giving to mothers who give birth in the state”, she said.
“We call on private organizations to help direct mothers to carry their babies to work and provide room to carryout breastfeeding proper. Cooperate organizations should make available rooms to carry out breast feeding if they cannot grant the six months leave to mothers.
In related development, the Nutrition Programme Officer, Primary Health Care Board, in the state, Dr. Adetoke Adekitan advised nursing mothers to practise exclusive breastfeeding practise.
Similarly, the State Team Lead of Alive and Thrive, Dr. Uche Ralph-Opara, explained that early practise of breastfeeding is influential in helping to address malnutrition in infants.
She added that malnutrition problems can be sorted out if the mother after birth, initiates breastfeeding, and make it consistent for next six months without herb nor water.