The wife of the Abia State governor, Mrs. Priscilla Otti, has charged
pregnant and nursing mothers to adopt exclusive breastfeeding for their children from birth to for the well being of their babies.
She said the State Government has shown greater commitments to breastfeeding advocacy and sensitization.
Mrs Otti, spoke at the goverment Umuahia in an event to mark the world breastfeeding day in Umuahia the State capital, with the theme “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making A Difference For Working Parents”.
She pointed out that breastfeeding is one of the most selfless acts a mother can perform, providing her child with the best possible start in life.
According to her, “breastfeeding requires patience, dedication and love, noting that these are qualities that are at the heart of motherhood itself, she said.
The Governor’s wife advised that “as we celebrate world breastfeeding day today, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of breastfeeding, not just for individual families but also for our communities and society as a whole”.
She explained that some of the benefits of breastfeeding includes improved nutrition, reduced risk of infection, enhanced immune system development, better brain development, emotional benefits and cost effective.
The Governor’s wife also stated that her office will continue to support initiatives armed at enhancing breastfeeding across the state through media campaigns, education and training for health workers.
She call on traditional rulers, religious leaders and policy makers to help break cultural strong holds that discourages exclusive breastfeeding.
In her remarks, the Acting Executive Secretary, Abia Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mrs. Meg Onwu, said that exclusive breastfeeding benefits both the baby and the mother by preventing ovarian cancer, boost the baby immune system and help the baby develop intellectual capabilities quickly.
She further stated that enabling environment should be created to help working mothers breastfeed their babies without prejudice.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, said that the theme of this year breastfeeding day is apt and call for global leaders to lend their voice to support mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively.
The commissioner who was represented by Dr. Angela Iheanacho, said that the awareness is employers of labour to create flexible break time and conducive environment for working class mothers to breastfeed their babies well adding that breastfeeding has been proven to be effective and in reducing child health issues.