The Wife of the Borno State governor, Dr Falmata Babagana, has urged religious and community leaders to support women in accessing health facilities due to the alarming rate of home delivery of babies in the state.
She spoke while flagging off this year’s World Breastfeeding Week campaign with the theme, “Let’s Step Up For Breastfeeding,” in Maiduguri Tuesday.
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She said the campaign was to discourage the practice of delivery of babies at home in the state.
The governor’s wife, who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Zuwaira Gambo, said the practice was depriving women of the opportunities for education, counselling and support by health professionals.
“As there remains a significant proportion of home deliveries, mothers and infants need support and care from family to initiate and continue breastfeeding. In addition, they need support from religious and community leaders, health systems, workplaces and government to breastfeed for as long as they desire,” she said.
At the event, United Nations Children’s Education Funds (UNICEF) Chief of Maiduguri Field Office, Samuel Sesay, said exclusive breastfeeding played an important role in managing the double burden of malnutrition and food insecurity, as well as helping children to grow healthy.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Nutrition and Physical Activity Officer, Dr Pindal Wakawa, stressed the need for education and legislation for the protection and support of children.