The department of Community and Primary Healthcare of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), in collaboration with Abiye Maternal and Child Health Foundation, celebrated the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week as they encouraged breastfeeding mothers to ensure that they exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first 6 months of life.
Regarding the theme for this year, “Supporting Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet”, the Head of Department, Dr. Adeyinka Adeniran while speaking with mothers at the Immunization clinic in LASUTH, gave a brief exhortation on the importance of breastfeeding a child exclusively for the first 6 months of life and encouraged that this should continue until the child attains the age of 2 years.
He pointedly noted that this tradition, if strictly adhered to will significantly reduce the current mortality rate in children which world over research has pegged the number to 900,000 lives globally, as at 2019.
While stating the numerous advantages of breastfeeding, Dr Adeniran said ‘it’s a major lifesaver in infants and emphasis should not be restricted to world celebrations only, but should be a continuous onus of professionals in community healthcare, primary healthcare and infant healthcare.
Dr Adeniran further opined when asked how the COVID 19 pandemic may have affected effective breastfeeding, he said, ‘as far as this mode of feeding is concerned, the lockdown culminating from the effect of the pandemic should be a plus for breastfeeding mums.
Reasons being that, they do not have to go to work every day and therefore have more time at their disposal to take care of their children, so, for me, it’s more of a ‘blessing’ as far as breastfeeding is concerned.”
Others present at the awareness campaign for nursing mothers include Dr Yetunde Kuyinu, Consultant, Primary Healthcare; Dr Femi Adebayo, Consultant Primary Healthcare and Dr Kehinde Omolara, Head of Neonatology Unit of the Pediatrics Department.