By CHIOMA OBINNA
SOCIAL ills that are negatively impacting on Nigerians’ collective index are portending apathy for breastfeeding practices in the country, it has been stated.
The Project Coordinator, Colostrum International, Dr. Bunmi Ogundunmi who spoke in Lagos on this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, WBW, with the theme; “Close To Mothers” said the apathy for breast feeding in Nigeria is clearly shown by recent statistics of breastfeeding rate assessment conducted by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF in 2012.
Noting that the 2013 theme was apt for the current social state of the country, she said: “From the Report, beginning with an all low rate of about 18 percent in 2002, Nigeria rose to 48 percent in 2006, unfortunately, by 2012 was back to 17 percent.”
Linking the apathy on poor awareness to breastfeeding, she called on stakeholders to support what she described as fundamental issue of breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is known to provide the child with both food and emotional development, emotion being the most necessary ingredient in all human relationships. The simple, ordinary, uncomplicated breastfeeding may offer some form of solution to the nation’s deep seated problems.
“It is so ordinary that we may not immediately relate the apathy for breastfeeding to some of our botherisome social issues, there is need to pay more attention to this fundamental stage of the lives of our infants and look within ourselves for the solution to Nigeria’s human problems.
Ogundimu maintained that breastfeeding and adequate early childhood care remains a practical parenting skill that would offer long term solution to the perennial problem of poor human capital development, positing that if conscientiously and consistently practiced, in another 30 years, the country will begin to reap the benefits of gift of human kindness.
Colostrum International is organising a summit tagged “Social Evolution” to deliberate on actively supporting breastfeeding with policies and guidelines such as proposed Child Rearing Bill presently with the Lagos State House of Assembly among others.