March 22 2018

Breastfeeding: Nigeria, four others lose $119bn annually

March 22 2018, 04:01 | Irvin Gilbert

World Breastfeeding week to be observed from August 1-7 with the theme of ‘sustaining breastfeeding together

World Breastfeeding week to be observed from August 1-7 with the theme of ‘sustaining breastfeeding together

Furthermore, data shared by Unicef and World Health Organization revealed an estimated loss of $9 billion to inadequate breastfeeding in Indonesia.

However, in order to attain the 50 percent exclusive breastfeeding targets set in the Plan by 2018, the goal of sustainable promotion and support for optimal breastfeeding will require priority attention, increased funding as well as monitoring of activities during and post implementation.

No country does enough to help mothers breastfeed their babies for the recommended minimum of six months, a United Nations -backed study said on Tuesday, as it called for governments to clamp down on baby-formula marketing and pass laws for paid maternity leave. Breast milk - as it helps in preventing pneumonia and diarrhea, the two major reasons behind infant deaths - is considered critical during the first 6 months of life.

Breastfeeding, despite being the best form of nutrition for infants, can be a controversial topic in many cultures.

According to a new report by the United Nations, almost one lakh children die in India due to diseases that could have been prevented through breastfeeding.

On his part, Parliamentarian for the area where the Breastfeeding week launch was conducted Lucius Banda concurred with the Health Minister that Breastfeeding campaign is indeed a collective responsibility.

According to UNICEF, Nigeria accounts for only 17 per cent of countries that adopt exclusive breastfeeding.

The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, a new report by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective points out that breastfeeding not only helps prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia, two major causes of death in infants, it also helps reduce mothers' risk of ovarian and breast cancer, two leading causes of death among women.

Also, 11 million children under age five are now malnourished in Nigeria. And breastfeeding also benefits mothers, decreasing their risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and diabetes.

Besides providing babies with important nutrients, breast-feeding also strengthens their immune system and helps protect them from illness.

Colostrum is a clear, thick and sticky liquid produced by a mother's mammary glands after a child's birth. Breast milk contains antibodies, which fight bacteria and infection. Breast milk gives a child a head start in life and a chance to fight child malnutrition later in life.

There is an enormous misconception that colostrum is dirty, but experts said it is not.

About 74 percent of children who are not exclusively breastfed are from families in the lowest income group in Nigeria, according to UNICEF.

The fact that mothers breastfed their babies lowered the risk of contracting the cancer by almost 20%.

The College advises that mothers should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and solid food should be introduced from six months, ideally alongside breastfeeding, to ensure the infant has adequate nutrition.

Sri Lanka ranks in the top 23 countries globally on breastfeeding rate Wed, Aug 2, 2017, 09:41 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

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