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Rotary seeks empowerment, support for breastfeeding mothers

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja   |   10 August 2015   |   6:23 pm  

Rotary_Club_Logo_THUMBUNFPA urges youths’ participation in governance

ROTARY International, District 9125 Nigeria, has called for empowerment and support for mothers working in public and private sectors as well as informal places in order for them to combine work with child nurturing, particularly on breastfeeding.

In a statement issued in Abuja to mark the end of the World Breastfeeding Week with the theme’ Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s make it work’, Rotary emphasised that breastfeeding is an essential part of the reproductive drill with important implications for the health of mothers.

District Governor, Dr. Mike Omotosho, said babies have specific nutritional needs and are born with undeveloped immune system. Therefore, infants and young children need food to meet these demands, stressing that breast milk remains the best food for infants as it provides both nutrients and immune support, which contribute to optimal survival, growth and development.
His words: “Breastfeeding is an essential part of the reproductive drill with important implications for the health of mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the primary way of feeding infants. Subsequently, infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond yearly.”

In another development, to make effective use of human capital and entrench democracy, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called on governments to invest in young people and allow them access to meaningful participation in decision-making so as to bring the desired transformation to the world.

This call heralds the World International Youth Day celebration, focused on giving them fair opportunities to avoid violation of their human rights as well as making adequate use of the available human capital in a strengthened democracy.

The Executive Director for International Youth Day, UNFPA, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, said celebrating the actions of young people around the world seeks to improve their well-being and that of their communities, stressing that in 65 countries, more than half the population is below 24 years of age.

He said: “Together, working in partnership with young people, we can enable them to survive, thrive and transform our world, and deliver a better future for all of us.

“Our efforts to promote youth leadership and participation enable young people to develop the skills, knowledge and support needed to make informed decisions about their bodies, lives, families, communities, countries and the world. Together, we can ensure that the post-2015 development agenda promotes the human rights, health and well-being of the largest generation of young people in history.

Omotosho further said: “Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness.

“Breastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers; it helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer, increases family and national resources, is a secure way of feeding and is safe for the environment.”

Osotimehin further said: “Young people are driving change towards a better future for all in every corner of the world. They are leading global action on climate change, campaigning to end discrimination, speaking out to uphold democracy and the freedom of speech, connecting our world with innovations in information technology, and building peace in societies ravaged by war.

“In a world of increasing conflict, young people must be our strongest partners if peace and security are to win out over war. We need their fullest capability and broadest engagement for people, the planet and prosperity to flourish.”



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