September 16, 2022

Avon HMO hosts new, expecting mothers for world breastfeeding week

Avon HMO hosts new, expecting mothers for world breastfeeding week

Head Utilization & Case Management Avon Healthcare Limited – Dr Janet Ogunkoya, Group Head, Human Resources Avon Healthcare Limited – Faith Nelson – Ojeaga, Consultant Paediatrician Avon Medical Practice- Dr Olubunmi Salako , Founder, Noisy Naija Paediatrician -Dr Ayodele Renner , Founder, New Mums Hub Africa – Olutosin Olufemi & CEO, Milky Express – Ttitilayo Medunonye & Lagos State Nutrition Officer – Olubunmi Braheem at the Avon HMO Breastfeeding Forum in partnership with Milky Express which held recently in Lagos

Leading health maintenance organization, Avon Healthcare Limited (Avon HMO) recently held a breastfeeding forum, further emphasizing its unwavering dedication to maternal and child health. The forum which was the first-ever of its kind by Avon HMO, was held in commemoration of World Breastfeeding Week.

The event, which was based on the theme, “Step Up For Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”, was designed as a safe space for mothers to connect, relax, and learn. The forum also had in attendance, leading experts in various areas of maternal and child health, including Titilayo Medunoye, Nigeria’s first Lactation Consultant and CEO, Milky Express; Tosin Olufemi, CEO, New Mums Hub; Dr Ayodele Renner, Consultant Paediatrician; Dr Olubunmi Salako, Consultant Paediatrician at Avon Medical Practice; and Olubunmi Braheem Lagos State’s Nutrition Officer, representing the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi.

Speaking on the event, Olubunmi Braheem said that it was a welcome development, especially considering the dwindling breastfeeding rate in the country and the rise of malnutrition in children.

“Presently in Lagos State, the exclusive breastfeeding rate is 52%. However, the national rate stands at 29 percent according to the last survey and this must be improved on. I am happy that private organisations like Avon are beginning to partner with us as we work on policies that will further encourage breastfeeding and ensure proper nutrition for babies.” She said.

Titilayo Medunoye, echoed these sentiments, saying that the easier breastfeeding becomes, the more mothers will embrace it.

“Mothers struggle with breastfeeding for various reasons, including hormonal and anatomical. It is important that we see how we can properly educate mothers on the various challenges faced during breast feeding and proffer solutions.”

One way these challenges could be overcome, according to Dr Salako of Avon Medical was for mothers to begin their preparations before childbirth, adding that cooperation and support of fathers was crucial. According to her, “Breastfeeding preparations should start the moment the woman is pregnant. Women should speak with their doctors during antenatal for clear directions and steps. Education is as important for the fathers as it is for the mothers.”

Dr Janet Ogunkoya, the Head of Utilization, Avon HMO, summed up the position of the company, stressing that Avon HMO has always been vocal about the need for improvements in maternal and child health, and was open to more collaborations towards that goal.

“Avon HMO has always been passionate about maternal and child health, and this is why most of our health plans include antenatal and neonatal care as core benefits. Even after birth, we realise that mothers still face challenges and this necessitated us going the extra mile to partner with Milky Express, New Mums Hub and other key partners to give them the required support they face in breastfeeding and other areas of childcare.”