The Chairperson of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Comrade Adeola Ekine has stated that breastfeeding is important for a child as it provides the best possible start in life, adding that it provides health nutritionally, and emotional benefits to both mother and children.
Ekine made this known while delivering her speech at the commemoration of the year 2021 breastfeeding day with the theme “project breastfeeding: A shared responsibility”, on Saturday 7th, August 2021.
Ekine who identified that exclusive breastfeeding is not an easy task mentioned that, “support to the mothers is required both to get started and to sustain it.
“The theme for this year is aligned with thematic area 2 of the WBW-SDG 2030 campaign which highlights the links between breastfeeding and survival, health and wellbeing of women, children, and nations.”
In her word, Ekine stated that the theme is relevant and important to fathers, partners families, workplaces, communities, and societies at large to work together as a progressive team in the campaign of breastfeeding and protect the interest of mothers whose domain is the breast milk domiciles.
“Research has shown that breast milk provides first immunization via colostrum especially in first six months. It is clean, safe, infants are protected against diarrheal diseases usually resulting from dirty water, food, teats, and bottles. Bearing this in mind, you will agree with me that the promotion and protection of breastfeeding are fundamental in the survival and development of our children around the globe.”
Ekine went further to reveal that, “the result is not impressive in Nigeria as only one out of every six mothers exclusively breastfeed their children. Although this is a slight improvement from previous years, there is still a long way to go to make sure that all children are well protected in their early stages of life.”
She also noted that “breastfeeding promotes better health for mothers and children alike. Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save more than 800, 000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months. It is also beneficial to mothers as it decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
“It is even estimated that increased breastfeeding could avert 20, 000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.
Talking about the reason the association is commemorating breastfeeding week, Ekine explained that, “Lagos NAWOJ as a body of Female Journalists has always joined the world to celebrate Breastfeeding week every year, that is why we dedicated our August congress to embark on a Breastfeeding walk In Ikeja/Alausa to further sensitize the community on the need to exclusively breastfeed our babies, the role of stakeholders in encouraging and helping mothers breastfeed their babies adequately while providing a conducive environment that is breastfeeding-friendly for mothers at home and in the workplace.”