Alive & Thrive (A & T) is supporting the Government of Nigeria to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week 2022 with a Flag Off ceremony and one-day conference tagged “Strengthening National Capacity on Breastfeeding in Nigeria.”
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, will flag off Nigeria’s celebration of World Breastfeeding Week at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, on August 1, 2022, in the presence of key stakeholders including the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Victor Ajieroh of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, representatives of UN Agencies, implementing partners, civil society organizations, and media.
This will be followed by a conference focused on the theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2022: “Step up for Breastfeeding, Educate and Support.” Speakers at the conference will discuss how to improve the capacity of key breastfeeding actors in the health system, the community, and the workplace.
Speaking on the event in a press release, Dr. Victor Ogbodo, Alive & Thrive Nigeria’s Program Director, said: “Alive & Thrive is pleased to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Health in commemorating this year’s World Breastfeeding Week. We look forward to incorporating recommendations from the conference into our capacity development initiatives as we work to improve maternal, adolescent, infant, and young children nutrition in our seven focal states.”
Stakeholders at multiple levels need to redouble their efforts, Dr. Ogbodo added. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria was 17% in 2018 but had increased to 29% by 2021, according to national surveys. But that is still far short of the 50% target by 2025 set by the World Health Assembly. Exclusive breastfeeding – feeding infants breastmilk only during the first six months of life – is one of the essential actions for infant development and survival.
“We’ve made significant progress in recent years,” he said. “But we can and must do more.”