According to statistics by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in the past five years, infant and under-five mortality rates have remained steady in Nigeria, at 74 and 117 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. This means that one Nigerian child of every 13 born dies before reaching age 1, and one in every eight does not survive to their fifth birthday.
The alarming figures are one of the reasons the Hand Stretched Out Love Charity (HSLC) Initiatives, a Non-Governmental Organisation, decided to take the bull by the horn and come up with an awareness campaign for infant and young children feeding practices.
The programme, themed “Combating Infant/Young Child Mortality Rate and Malnutrition”, was the perfect opportunity to educate nursing mothers on the best children-feeding practices.
Held on Saturday, April 22, at 80, Old Otta Road, Ile-Epo Market, Oke-Odo, the event had a nutritionist, paediatrician and dietitian enlighten mothers on how to reduce child mortality rate and malnutrition among children.
Chief dietitian, Orile Agege General Hospital, Olowolekomo Temitope, spoke on the need for the right food and fruits to be taken by pregnant and nursing mothers while laying emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding and consumption of vegetables.
She strongly warned against the usage of herbal concoctions as they are harmful and in most cases, cause more harm to the body.
Paediatrician, Orile Agege General Hospital, Bamgbade Obakunayo, spoke on body antibiotics, and right feeding practices before, during and after pregnancy.
According to him “healthy eating leads to healthy babies”.
He said the antibodies are soldiers in the body produced from the body and for babies, it can be gotten through exclusive breastfeeding.
The highlight of the event was the distribution of hampers to over 400 pregnant and nursing mothers who attended the event.
The participants thanked the organisers and promised to practice what was taught.
In remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Mrs Clementina Abohi, thanked partners for their support, appreciated mothers who took out time to come get educated and equipped
“On behalf of Hand Stretched Out Love Charity Initiative’s want to appreciate our mothers who took out time to come get enlightened ,educated and equipped on how they can as well in their own ways contribute to the fight against infant / young children mortality rate and malnutrition in our society.
“I also want to acknowledge and appreciate Individuals and Organisations like Africa Port Services who donated towards the event.
Your contribution made the Event a huge success”.