Dr Chinagozi Adindu, the Executive Secretary, Abia Primary Healthcare Development Agency, has advised nursing mothers against bottle-feeding their babies, saying it discourages healthy child development.
Adindu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia, in commemoration of the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanise action on themes related to breastfeeding.
According to WABA, an Online publication, WBW is celebrated every Aug. 1 to 7 in commemoration of the 1990 Innocenti Declaration.
It started in 1992, with annual themes: including healthcare systems, women and work, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, community support, ecology, economy, science, education and human rights.
Since 2016, WBW is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2018, a World Health Assembly resolution endorsed WBW as an important breastfeeding promotion strategy,” WABA said.
Adindu, however, urged mothers to ensure proper breastfeeding of their children, saying it has many advantages.
“In all our 722 facilities in the state, when mothers come for their ante-natal or post-natal, we usually use that opportunity to educate them on the need for proper breastfeeding.
“We dissuade them from bottle-feeding their babies. In fact, we confiscate such things, if they come to us with the bottles,” Adindu said.
He highlighted the importance of breastfeeding, saying, “it is nutritionally sound and helps the baby to develop very well”.
According to him, breastfeeding helps to strengthen the baby’s immunity against diseases as well as its cognitive development.
The medical doctor said that proper breastfeeding would also help the mother to lose weight, child spacing, maternal bonding and cheaper.
Adindu said that, in commemorating the week, the agency had held Town Hall meetings, sensitisation meetings, road walks, and as well engage the media to create awareness on the need for mothers to breastfeed their children.