By Ebele Onuorah
Nigerian mothers have been urged to rekindle the essence of breastfeeding as one of the most natural and dependable means of ensuring infant and child survival in the country.
Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lagos State chapter, Comrade Dupe, Olaoye-Osinkolu, who gave the assertion at the opening of the week-long series of activities to mark this year’s World Breastfeeding day activities in the State, observed that exclusive breastfeeding for at least 18 months was a guaranteed way of reducing the high infant mortality rate occasioned by conditions such as the Sudden Death Syndrome (SIDS) as well as minimising the increasing rate of infant mortality.
Olaoye-Osinkolu who led members of Lagos NAWOJ on a breastfeeding awareness rally said the Association was determined in its quest to intensify knowledge of mothers about the importance of breast feeding towards reducing preventable deaths among infant.
The week themed “Breastfeeding: A 3D Experience”, with slogan “Talk To Me” was designed to enlighten the community on the advantages of exclusively breast feeding their babies.
Her words: “We would continue to educate mothers on the future of their children and stress the need for them not to relent in breastfeeding their babies, not just for two and three weeks, but for a prolonged duration in the early stages of their babies’ lives. Some mothers say it is “old school”, yes! Even if it is old school, I urge us not to forget the old school that’s why this year’s theme is borrowing a leaf from the old school.
The campaign for mothers to breastfeed their babies at least for the first 18 months kicked off with a road show followed with street campaigns. The grand finale featured Deputy Governor of the State Mrs. Joke Orelope-Adefulire who declared the event open and there was a lecture entitled Breastfeeding in Nigeria: borrowing a Leaf from Old School”. Exclusively breastfed babies were showcased during the event.