Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, has urged women to adopt proper child birth spacing to ensure survival and successful future of a child. Fashola made the call in Lagos at the 12th Babies and Moms Expo on Wednesday organised by Afribaby Initiative and entitled “Great Mothers, Happy Babies’’. She said that inadequate child spacing could affect not only the health of children and mothers but also a child’s future successes.
According to her, two and a half to three years between births is usually best for the wellbeing of the mother and her children. “Studies have shown that if couples space birth two to three years, death rate of children under the age of five could definitely drop. “Planning enough time in-between pregnancies increases the chance of a good outcome for the mother and each of her babies as well as increases the chances of healthy mother and surviving children.
“It also allow parents to devote more time to each child in the early years, easing pressures on the family’s finances and giving parents more time for other activities than child bearing alone,’’ she said. Prof. Adenike Grange, a former Minister of Health, in her address urged mothers to take charge of their children’s future by ensuring adequate exclusive breastfeeding, immunisation and nutrition.
Grange, who was represented by Dr Yewande Adeshina, Special Adviser to Gov. Babatunde Fashola on Public Health, said that mothers had a big role in the survival and future of their children. “The survival, education, proper upbringing and future of a child rest in the shoulders of the mother. “They have the key responsibility of molding and shaping children into responsible and successful adults to drive the future, development and progress of the country,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Prof. Adewale Oke, Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said that reducing child mortality and ensuring child survival required collective efforts. “The government, health practitioners, parents and non-governmental organisations have a role to play in ensuring that the high rate of child mortality in Nigeria reduces.
“This is why LASUTH is supporting Afribaby Initiative to promote and advocate for adequate healthcare for mothers and their babies,’’ he said. Dr Oscar Odiboh, Founder Afribaby Initiative, said the Expo was to recognise organisations and individuals who had been supporting the cause of child health and survival. Odiboh urged government at all levels to support babies and mothers recently rescued by the Nigerian Army from Sambisa Forest in Bornu to secure their health.
He also called on well-meaning Nigerians, organisations and the government to support the initiative’s Breast Milk Bank Project to cater for abandoned, motherless and other needy babies.