By Busuyi Ogidiolu

Stakeholders in Public and Private Sectors need to make adequate breastfeeding facilities available in all workplaces to make them friendly to nursing mothers.

This is to ensure that women are able to use the facilities like creche to breastfeed for as long as they wish.

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji stated this in Ado Ekiti at the flag-off of 2023 world breastfeeding week.

Dr Oyebanji explained that medical experts have shown that breastfeeding is capable of protecting children by significantly reducing the risk of malnutrition and diseases especially in the first year of life.

“Findings have shown that investing in breastfeeding will prevent 13% of child deaths and morbidity, if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first months of life.

“Stakeholders, known as warm chain actors should therefore involve in ensuring that breastfeeding practices are supported, protected and promoted including the Government, health sector workers, private sectors, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, entrepreneurs and communities” She said.

The first Lady noted that the programme, which was an annual and a week-long event, celebrated globally in the month of August highlighted the importance of promoting breastfeeding globally, nationally, at state and at the community level.

The Governor’s wife added that that government has demonstrated  support in protecting and promoting breastfeeding by enacting an health policy of paid six months maternity leave and two weeks paternity leave for employees. 

In a goodwill message, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services Dr Oyebanji Filani told fathers of newborns to always provide necessary assistance to their wives while breastfeeding during the two weeks pertnernity leave instead of going to relaxation centres.

“Father’s role in supporting their wives financially and morally cannot be overemphasized as a conducive environment help better breastfeeding” Filani said.

Also a representative of World Health Organization, Dr Isaac Adedayo emphasized the need for stakeholders to support and raise awareness on why mothers should be actively engage in breastfeeding to improve immunity of the newborns.

In another contribution, the Chairperson, Association of women Doctors, Dr Akinsoto Esther said breastfeeding was economical, as it would also prevent diarrhea and other diseases which were parts of leading causes of childhood mortality.

Speaking on this year’s theme which is “Let’s make Breastfeeding and Work, Work” the chairman Ekiti State food and nutrition committee, Mr Olusesan Alabi expressed the believe that six-month exclusive breastfeeding could offer many benefits to the infant as well as the mothers.

“Breast milk contains important nutrients, antibodies and enzymes that help to strengthen the babies immune system and protect them from infections and illnesses. He added.

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