By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka— A STUDY by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF,- sponsored Social Mobilization and Technical Committee, SOMTEC, of Anambra State Ministry of Information and Communications Strategy has shown that only about 50 per cent of mothers in the state complied fully with exclusive breastfeeding of their babies.
At a review meeting on action plans for community governance structure on essential family practices in the three senatorial zones of the state, the Presidents-General and women leaders from all the communities in the state expressed worry at the average compliance despite the enormous campaigns on the need for mothers to observe exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of child delivery.
The community leaders observed during the review meeting that the result might not be unconnected with the high number of working class mothers in the state, who might not have had the time for exclusive breastfeeding, as well as the current economic recession which had made it difficult for mothers to stay with their babies most of the time.
There was, however, cheering news in other areas as the state performed above average. For instance, the study showed that 94% of households have acceptable toilet facilities, just as 94% of the population no longer engaged in open defecation.
Similarly, the study showed that 94% of the pregnant women attended antenatal clinics, while about 84% achieved full antenatal before delivery.
Also, the study said that the state had achieved 84% immunization coverage against all communicable diseases, while 84% of children of school age were attending schools.
The participants observed that the results showed a marked improvement on the earlier studies and commended UNICEF and other international donor agencies for their interest in children and women activities in the country.
The Programme Officer of SOMTEC in the state, Mrs. Chineze Ileka urged the community leaders to work hard to sustain the achievements and improve on areas that required more attention, adding that as the nearest leaders to the people, they should not shy away from the developments in their various communities.