According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Healthcare, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, only 28 per cent of nursing mothers in Lagos practice exclusive breastfeeding.
Speaking at with the press at the state’s Ministry of Health, Alausa, as part of activities lined up to celebrate the World Breastfeeding Day.
He stated that exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding were part of the key interventions for improving child survival and had the potential of saving about 20 per cent of under-five children from morbidity and mortality.
Onanuga said, “The practice of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life and the introduction of adequate complementary diet till the first two years of life are integral to child survival and optimal growth.
“Our future is in our hands, which can be guaranteed with the provision of adequate diet to children for optimal brain growth,” he said.
The special adviser said it was for this reason that the state government had extended the maternity leave period from three to six months, in addition to two-week paternity leave.
He stated that exclusive breastfeeding is the foundation that could address malnutrition.
“The fight against the occurrence of malnutrition in under-five children cannot be won without the collective efforts of all the stakeholders. The caregivers have lots of commitment to make towards the goal for eradicating malnutrition in children.
Diabetes, asthma, SIDS are becoming common diseases in children and scientist have proven a major cause is due to the low breastfeeding rates among mothers.