By Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja

Kogi State government has set up committee to formulate policies that can step up the rate of adequate breastfeeding amongst nursing mother’s in the state.

The state said its taking steps to step improve her rating in encouraging mother’s to give adequate breast milk to children, expecially exclusive breastfeeding.

UNICEF has described breast milk as a ‘Super diet’ for children and has encouraged states and federal governments to step-ups their campaign for breastfeeding amongst nursing mothers; expecially exclusive breastfeeding.

The State Project Manager, Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRIN) Mr. Bolarinwa Ogundusi Oladele stated this in Lokoja on Thursday on the sideline of this year World Breastfeeding Week.

According to him, “Nigeria at present has attained 32 percent rate of exclusive breastfeeding. Kogi on her own is still within 27 percent. Though, Kogi’s rate is the highest in North Central and second highest in the north, we felt the rate is still low.

“Towards this end, the state has raised a committee to look into formulating policies that will help to step- up the rate of exclusive breastfeeding amongst nursing mothers.

“One of the policies is formulating a bill to the state Assembly that will support granting one month Parternity leave to fathers; so that they can be around to assist the mother’s at home and in turn, relaxes the mother to breastfeed well.

“The state is also engaging, educating and supporting .other’s to breastfeed. We are organizing workshops and road shows that will sensitise them on the needs to adequately breastfeed their babies.

“The education is so important because from our findings, some mother’s that have challenges like AIDS and other sicknesses, complain of fear of transmitting the sicknesses to their offsprings. Whereas, only four percent of such mother’s can transfer AIDS to their offspring.

“In fact, the rate and incidences of babies getting those sicknesses is higher when the baby is not breastfed.

“We must discourage Mother’s from resulting to use of formula, which negate proper hygiene in the feeding of their babies. The poverty rate now does not allow mother’s to afford those artificial products consistently. Aside the fact that those artificial milk cannot meet up with the required content and quality like breastfmilk.”

Mr. Oladele also said the state will engage the use of cleargies to drive home their campaign, stressing that God is in support of breastfeeding, “God is against mother’s not giving breast milk to their children.

“Sucking of breast does not make breast sag. We want to encourage mother’s to breastfeed, even with challenges of inverted nipples or otherwise, and show them the best way of breastfeeding.”

Oladele also said part of the policy will see to the construction of creches across all ministry where working nursing mothers can put their babies and have close access during working hours to breastfeed them.

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