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UBTH medical director harps on need for breast feeding

By  Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—CHIEF Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Prof. Mike Ibadin, has canvassed the creation of awareness of the benefits accruing to mothers who breast feed their children.

He also described breast feeding as the safest, most suitable and economical method of infant feeding.

Besides, he said that breast feeding played a significant role in the maintenance of the health of both children and their mothers, even as it encourages mother-child bonding and strengthen the family.

Prof. Ibadin, who spoke in Benin Wednesday while declaring open ‘The World Breast Week Celebration in UBTH’, said that breast feeding, if adequately practised, reduces the morbidity and mortality rates in infants  who are exclusively breastfed than in those who were only partially or never breastfed.

He revealed that a National Survey (NDHS) carried out in 1990 revealed that only two percent of infants under the age of one month were exclusively breastfed, while 57 percent  received water in addition to breast milk and as many as 38 percent  were already receiving complementary feeding.

He recalled that in the nineties, exclusive breast feeding rates increased in the country, with support from the UNICEF and other donor agencies who were continuously training staff, certifying hospitals, and health centres’ baby friendly facilities.

“The whole country was caught with the fever of baby friendliness until UNICEF gradually withdrew in the early 2000s.”


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