Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire revealed this while speaking at a media conference held in Abuja, to commemorate the 2020 Breastfeeding Week with the theme: “Support Breastfeeding for a healthier planet.”
According to him, WHO has revealed that scaling up breastfeeding practices to almost universal level could actually prevent an estimated 823 000 annual deaths or 13·8 percent of all deaths of children younger than 24 months.
He added that breastfeeding also provides health benefits to mothers, by helping to prevent postpartum bleeding, supporting child spacing, lowering the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and earlier return to pre-pregnancy body weight.
His words, “It is also associated with longer-term health benefits including reduced risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence. Studies have shown that obesity rates are 15-30 percent lower in breastfed babies compared to formula-fed babies,”
“The World Health Organization, in a series of Lancet publications on breastfeeding, reports that scaling up breastfeeding practices to almost universal level could prevent an estimated 823 000 annual deaths or 13·8 percent of all deaths of children younger than 24 months.”
“Breastfeeding also provides health benefits to mothers, by helping to prevent postpartum bleeding, support child spacing, lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and earlier return to pre-pregnancy body weight. An estimated 20,000 maternal deaths could be prevented annually if optimal breastfeeding were practiced.”
UNICEF, Nutrition International, Breakthrough Action, Action Against Hunger, HKI and Save the Children, the Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Beatrice Eluaka added,
“The event is a very big one as we know the importance of breastfeeding to our children, mothers, and the country at large. We want to do everything possible to promote, support, and protect breastfeeding.
“Climate change and environmental degradation are the major challenges that we are facing in the world today. But what are the better ways to protect our environment than breastfeeding? We don’t have to prepare anything to feed the child, you don’t need fuel, firewood to boil water, and sanitise the equipment that really needed because it comes naturally from the mother to the child.”
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