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FG charge mothers to practice Exclusive Breastfeeding

The Federal Government has called for an increase in the proportion of infants exclusively breastfed for six months.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr Abdulaziz Abdullahi stated this at  launch of the National Zero Water Campaign, which aims to highlight the superiority of breastmilk and the need to discourage prelacteal feeding.
He also charged players in the Formal and informal sector to create an enabling and supportive environment for the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding.
According to him, the National Nutrition and Health Survey 2018  (NNHS),  indicated  that almost 97% of children are breastfed at one time or the other.
“The report shows that only about 27% of the children are exclusively breastfed and about 1 in 5 are put to breast within the first hour of life.”

The Permanent Secretary also noted that  a major finding of the report   highlighted that  one of the biggest threats to exclusive breastfeeding is that many of the children are given water or complementary foods within the first six months of life.

“We developed the National Zero Water Campaign to draw the attention of the community, households and caregivers to the importance of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding.”
He added that the campaign will target not only the mothers and caregivers, but other members of the household and communities including fathers/husbands, grandmothers, community/religious leaders, government officials, the private sector and even Civil Societies Organizations.

“The campaign will run for two years in all the States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory Capital.”

The Director General of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Asishana Okauru
said the highest level of under-5 stunting  prevalence has not improved over the last decade.

“It currently sits at 27% compared to the national target of 65% by 2025. 
The magnitude of the required intervention is enormous, there are very extreme negative consequences of inaction.”
He disclosed that the Nigeria Governor’s Secretariat is currently stepping up its advocacy efforts for nutrition through the development of a Nutrition Scorecard. 
“It is in collaboration with stakeholders in Nutrition. The scorecard would be deployed to promote accountability for action in nutrition by all State Governments.
Speaking further, he said  the Forum supported by the Secretariat has risen to become a leading knowledge resource Centre and a major player in helping catalyze policy implementation and resource mobilization at the sub-national level. 
“The Governors of Lagos and Kaduna States have approved the implementation of a 6-month maternity leave for pregnant women in their States.”

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