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RSG Targets 50% Exclusive Breastfeeding By 2025

The Rivers State Government said it is committed to achieve the exclusive breastfeeding in at least 50 percent of children by 2025.target set by the World Health Assembly.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Caroline Wali send this in a broadcast to flag-off this year 2019 World breastfeeding week with its theme, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” in Port Harcourt.

Wali said to achieve this target, the government will continue to promote enabling work environment including social structures that support mothers and their families in breastfeeding.

She noted that world breastfeeding week which is celebrated annually in the first week of August is to create awareness as well as protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding around the world, and draw the attention of the populace to the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

According to her, breastfeeding provides adequate food and nutrients from the first day of life up to two years and beyond, adding that it is most single cost effective way of feeding infants and young children in the society.

Wali further explained that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life yields tremendous health benefit for both the mother and the baby because it provides the baby with critical nutrients and protection from diseases such as pneumonia, leukemia, obesity, diabetics and help reduce the mother’s risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer.

The permanent secretary stated that the theme of the week was focused to inform people about the links between gender equitable parental social protection and breastfeeding that is anchored on parent friendly values and gender equitable social norms at all levels to support breastfeeding, engage individuals and organizations for greater impact.

She disclosed that during the week, government and major stakeholders are expected to carry out activities to inform and educate the public about breastfeeding, articulate critical activities that would protect, promote and support breastfeeding as a government policy and best practice.

Wali urged all to promote breastfeeding as a child survival strategy and empower parents to enable breastfeeding and support to create the enabling environment where mothers could breastfeed optimally.

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