UNICEF Takes Exclusive Breast Feeding Sensitization To Southern Ijaw


By Elizabeth Vincent,Yenagoa

The United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) in collaboration with the Bayelsa state Ministry of Health, through the Primary Healthcare Board carried out a community sensitization on the need for exclusive Breastfeeding.

The sensitization which took place at Angiama and Oporoma the headquarters of Southern Ijaw local government area of the state witnessed a large turn out from both Communities.

Addressing the importance of exclusive Breastfeeding, the state Nutrition Officer, Bayelsa Primary HealthCare Board, Mr. Ebi Wilson said, Southern Ijaw is at zero percent in terms of exclusive Breastfeeding while Bayelsa as a state is 26%

He said the first 1000 days in a child’s life is very important because it determine the rapid growth of the child. Saying the only thing that can make a child developed and grow well is exclusive Breastfeeding.

“We are here because of exclusive Breastfeeding. 1.3% of children in southern Ijaw are malnutrized and if it’s not properly checked will cause stunted growth. Breast milk contains all the soldiers that will fight against any sicknesses in an early life of a child”.

“A child that breastfeed well will not suffer diarrhea and Breastfeeding helps in brain development. The first milk from a mother that just delivered played a very significant role in the life and health of a child”.

“Mother should stop given their new born baby animal milk. Animal milk is for animals.

According to Wilson, exclusive Breastfeeding is not only important to a child but also to the mother because it reduces the chances of the woman in having breast cancer and cervical cancer. “And for men, exclusive Breastfeeding saves cost”.

In her contribution, the Breastfeeding Initiative Coordinator BAYELSA Primary HealthCare Board, Mrs. Rose Okparan, laid emphasis on the importance of exclusive Breastfeeding.

She said exclusive Breastfeeding avert infant death. Saying immediately after one hour of giving birth, a child should be breastfed.

“The first six months is exclusively for Breastfeeding. No water or any artificial food. We want the women to begin to imbibe the culture of exclusive Breastfeeding as the way to go. Breastfeeding in Southern Ijaw is very poor. Breastfeeding is zero percent.

In there separate responses, His Royal Highness, Biobere from Angiama and Rev. Okosibidei Victor in Oporoma, promises to help carried out the enlightenment campaign.

“By this enlightenment we have understood that lack of exclusive Breastfeeding is responsible for most of the sicknesses in the children. We will do the right thing through this sensitization. We will do our best to make sure the news go round”.

The Eunice Nnachi Women Advocacy Foundation, and other Gender based organizations also joined in exclusive breastfeeding community sensitization efforts in Bayelsa State.


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