15 children die daily in Enugu state over poor nutrition
Enugu, Aug. 4, 2015 (NAN) Mrs Pauline Enenwali, Coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative, Enugu state Ministry of Health, has said that 15 children die in the state daily due to poor nutrition.
Enenwali disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on the sideline of the 2015 World Breastfeeding Week.
She said that the health indices on exclusive breastfeeding in the state were so poor that not less than 5,000 babies died annually arising from malnutrition.
She said that the prevalence of malnutrition stood at 30.6 per cent.
The coordinator described exclusive breastfeeding as a high impact intervention for child survival and growth.
Enenwali attributed the increased infant mortality arising from malnutrition to inadequate breastfeeding of such babies by nursing mothers.
She said that current record of women that breast fed their babies exclusively stood at 26 per cent in the state.
“From the data we collected, in June 2015 only about 26 per cent of women in the state are breastfeeding their babies exclusively and this is very poor.
“The breast milk is the ideal food for the growth and development of the baby because it protects them from infections and allergies.
“It is very important to breastfeed exclusively from zero to six months as it promotes bonding between the baby and their mother,” she said.
Enenwali said that the state Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNICEF had trained 291 councillors to teach nursing mothers on the best breast feeding methods.
She said that proper positioning and attachment of the baby during sucking was important to get the best out of the process.
The coordinator advised against adherence to any custom that militate against exclusive breast feeding, adding that such was detrimental to the health of the child.
She said that poverty was not an excuse for nursing mothers not to feed their babies exclusively.
“It is good for nursing mothers to feed very well, but that a woman doesn’t eat well will not prevent the breast from lactating,’’ she said.
The theme of the 2015 World Breastfeeding Week is ‘Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s make it Work’.
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