Exclusive breastfeeding: Malnutrition kills 15% under 5 children in Kaduna - Expert — Nigerian Pilot News
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Exclusive breastfeeding: Malnutrition kills 15% under 5 children in Kaduna – Expert

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Traditional, religious leaders sensitized on exclusive breastfeeding in Jigawa

..Says’ 1st breast fluid is immunization, vaccination

Over 15 percent of under- 5 years children dying in Kaduna State are as a result of malnutrition, arising from lack of exclusive breastfeeding, a nutrition expert has said.

He also stated that globally,823,000 children will be saved if women could breastfeed, while thousands would be saved in Nigeria and even become academically sound, according to research, saying malnourished children are dull in school.

Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, Safe The Children International, Isa Ibrahim, who disclosed this also revealed that the first fluid or breast milk a child consumes immediately after delivery serves as first immunization or vaccination.

Ibrahim, together with other nutrition experts made the revelations at the one day orientation of LGA Project Implementation Management Team, PIMT, in 15 scale up LGAs of Kaduna State.

The PIMT, organized by Alive and Thrive, A&T, an initiative funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and managed by FHI 360, is aimed at improving child growth and development during the first 1000 days, by delivering high impact Infant and Young Child Feeding, IYCF, intervention at scale. “The goals are to increase indices around early initiation of breastfeeding exclusive breastfeeding, and diet diversity”.

Speaking during an interview, the state team leader of A&T, Kaduna, Hassan Musa and Isa Ibrahim disclosed that the nutrition situation in Kaduna is getting worse, sighting multi indicative research and survey of 2016 and 2017, which revealed severe malnourishment as a result of drop in exclusive breastfeeding of children.

Ibrahim also said that the breastfeeding of children by caregivers have gone down, saying only 19 percent out of 100 women are exclusively breastfeeding children currently.

He also revealed that only 28 percent women in Kaduna are practising Initiative Breastfeeding, meaning; breastfeeding within the first one hour after child delivery in Kaduna. “Meaning that the importance of the initiative breastfeeding with first breast fluid which children get within the 1st one hour is that, it’s the first immunization and vaccination for a child. When they have the first fluid of breast milk immediately after delivery it serves as immunity for the child. It also protects the child from different forms of diseases. But a lot of women don’t keep to it”, he said.

According to the expert, even though there is a policy, Kaduna State is yet to come up with budget line of nutrition till date.

Globally, he said, 823,000 children would be saved if women could breastfeed, while thousands would saved in Nigeria and even become academically sound, according to research, saying malnourished children are very door in classroom.

Ibrahim said if a child is properly breastfed with proper 6 months exclusive breastfeeding and food complements for 2 years from heigenic environment, it saved parents of spending the little money made on medication because of the healthy nature of the child.

While he advocated for the establishment of nutrition corner in all the health centres with equipments where malnourished could access, Ibrahim noted that ignorant and poverty, are sometimes responsible for some malnourished as some women deliberately decline to avail themselves of the services for sensitization by personnel on how to manage pregnancy among others.

Also speaking, Hajiya Hauwa Usman, State Nutrition Officer Primary Health Care Agency, Kaduna, who buttressed the point made by her colleagues said in an interview, that 27 nutrition corners established in Kaduna are functional and are being given more attention than before.

She said the corners which commenced from Kujuru local government, have been replicated in Igabi, Makarfi, Soba, Kaduna North, Lere, Giwa and other places with demonstration for the malnourished, while they are working and trying to scale more.

Earlier, Ibrahim said “Poor breastfeeding causes diarrhea to children, and causes cancer for women, and may likely cause diabetes. Kaduna North has high rate of malnutrition because from MNCH weeks recently conduct on children screening on malnutrition in Giwa and Soba local governments recorded like 200, but in Jaba and Kachia, in Kaduna South, you may like have 10, 5 and even 1 percent malnourish children”, she noted.

According to Ibrahim the solution to Malnutrition lies with Initiative breastfeeding exclusive and continued up to 2years, stressing that the economic advantage is enormous since billions spent buying drugs for children hospitals by government could be used for other development purposes.

“However, ignorant and poverty largely account for major problems as some women don’t like availing themselves to health services or could not go and get advise from medical personnel on how to managed pregnancy themselves due to lack of means.

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