Federal Government of Nigeria has launched #ZeroWaterCampaign as part of the move to promote exclusive breastfeeding for new born babies from 0-6months of infancy in Nigeria.
According to Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health while speaking at the launching in Abuja yesterday, “Currently Nigeria ranks amongst the countries with highest number of stunted babies and malnourished children due to the inability of our nursing mothers to maintain exclusive breastfeeding for their babies for the first six months without water or any form of substitute.
“Breastmilk is essential; it saves lives, boosts immunity, improves the health of both mother and Child”.
“Recent survey has revealed that just 1 out of 3 babies in Nigeria is breastfed exclusively for six months without water or baby formular hence the launching of ‘zero water campaign’ she remarked.
Penille Ironside, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria, who spoke extensively of importance of breast milk at infancy at the event, said breastfeeding is the unique rights for every new born babies which would help them build the appropriate foundation for their survival.
“Exclusive Breastfeeding during the first six months of life is one of the most cost-effective interventions for preventing child deaths”
‘In other words, exclusive breastfeeding is essential in reducing infant mortality rate, based on recent survey that 1 in 3 infants in Nigeria would survive to celebrate the 5th birthday.
Ironside added that she also practices what she preaches as she just completed her maternity leave and had her baby exclusively breastfed.
“I practice what I preach. I exclusively breastfed my child for 6months. I am a Breastfeeding mother who wants the best for my child, like every other Nigerian mother” she remarked.
#ZeroWaterCampaign also seeks to address several policy issues around maternal and child healthcare as well as increasing maternity leave for nursing mothers from three to six months to enable them breast feed their babies exclusively among others.