Human Interest

Anambra Commissioner counsels fathers on exclusive breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

By Nwafor Okafor

The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, has counselled fathers to ensure that their wives are in relaxed frame of mind when breastfeeding.

The Commissioner stated this on Thursday during the event of the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) at the
Maternal and Child Health Centre, Amawbia in Awka.

Obidike urged fathers to support their breastfeeding wives as exclusive breastfeeding could be exhausting for mothers.

He said, “A mother needs to be psychologically, physically and emotionally balanced to breastfeed optimally. Therefore, fathers should be there to provide all that the woman needs.

He said the efforts of the state government were geared towards the promotion of maternal and child survival strategies.

WBW is celebrated on August 1-7 every year, to raise awareness and galvanise actions to promote and exclusive breastfeeding.The theme for this year’s commemoration is :’Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support’.

Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, said the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in state increased from 17 percent in 2018 to 27 percent now.

Ezenyimulu said Anambra recorded an increase in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding due to intensified awareness and counseling programmes at health facilities.

She said,. “The figure of 27 percent is still low and below the national target of 50 percent by 2025. We are calling on residents to become advocates of exclusive breastfeeding and support mothers to practice optimal breastfeeding.

“The practice of exclusive breast feeding will ensure the provision of vital and adequate nutrients required for healthy and maximal growth and development as well as eradication of childhood malnutrition in the state.”

In his remarks, Dr Moses Ohamaeme, Cluster Coordinator representing the World Health Organisation and United Nations agencies, said exclusively breastfed children would become healthy and productive adults.

According to him, such children are protected from severe complications arising from childhood killer diseases

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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