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Newborns: ASPHCDA, UNICEF launch zero-water in Anambra markets, rural areas

The Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has taken the campaign for ZeroWater for new babies to markets and rural areas of the state.

This is to promote exclusive breastfeeding for babies from 0-6months of life while the focus is to reach every nook and cranny of the communities to ensure that the message effectively reaches nursing mothers and relevant stakeholders.

Educating nursing mothers at the Primary Health Centre(PHC), and an audience at the Azudaa market in Mgbakwu, Awka North Local Government Area of the state during one of the sensitization campaigns, the Anambra State Breastfeeding Coordinator, Ngozi Okoye, said infants should be exclusively breastfed within one hour of birth for the first six months of life.

She warned against feeding babies under six months with cow milk, adding that animal milk could carry harmful bacteria and other germs that could be life-threatening to the child.

She said, “Stop giving your babies cow milk in their first six months of life. The increasing level of decadence in our society today is because we no longer breastfeed our children copiously. A baby fed with animal milk will behave like animal. That’s one of the reasons children of these days don’t behave well.

“In the old days, our parents breastfed their babies copiously for a reasonable period of time, even up to two years. If you compare the behaviour of the people of the old and today’s, the difference is obvious

She emphasized that well-breastfed babies would have immunity against deceases and increased cognitive, stating that mothers that practice exclusive breastfeeding would rarely suffer from ovarian cancer, and unexpected pregnancy while still nursing babies.

Also speaking to the different audiences at Mgbakwu, the Anambra State Nutrition Officer,Uzomaka Eriken, said after six months of life, breastfeeding should be combined with safe, age-appropriate feeding of nutritious soft foods.

She said, ” Your baby needs to start eating complementary foods after six months of exclusive breastfeeding.

Stressing that breastmilk had important nutrients for growing, and should be continued as long as the mother and baby would want, Eriken said,” It is important that the complimentary foods you give your baby are nutritiously rich and hygienic.”

Speaking with our correspondent, Officer in Charge, PHC, Mgbakwu,Nduka Virginia said, on the average about 30 percent of the nursing mothers in the area now practise exclusive breastfeeding following various advocacy efforts, noting that from her observation children exclusively breastfed in the area were far healthier than their counterparts.

See also Bimbo Oloyede To Raise N100m To Fight Cancer

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