SELYA YARNAP, Bauchi
The United Nation Children Fund, (UNICEF has disclosed that about 11million children under the age of five are malnourished in Nigeria as a result of low level of exclusive breastfeeding.
Philomena Irene, who is the UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, said this during the flag off ceremony of the scaling up of Community Management for Acute Malnutrition, sites (CMAM) in Bauchi State at Miri Primary Health Care Centre in Bauchi.
According to her, the level of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria was only 17 per cent, meaning that 5.4 million children each year miss out on its benefits, contributing to the country’s problem of chronic child malnutrition.
Philomena Irene added that the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding leads to more than 100,000 child deaths and translates into almost $12 billion in future economic losses for the country.
In his address, the Director of the State Primary Health Care Agency, Adamu Gamawa stated that the state had scaled up the CMAM sites in the state to nine local governments, saying that next year the sites will be scaled up to nine additional local governments.
The wife of the state Governor, Hadiza Mohammed, in her address also, stressed her commitment to strengthen health care services in the state by ensuring that women are sensitized regularly on the importance of breastfeeding.
Hadiza Mohammed then called on expectant mothers to visit health care facilities in their areas so that they can have a safe delivery and prevent pregnancy complications.
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