Experts on child health have called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to create enabling environment for women to practsise exclusive breastfeeding.
They made the call yesterday during a webinar organized by Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization, to commemorate this year’s World Breast Feeding Week.
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The NGO, in its call to action read by Innocent Chukwu, said doing so would improve the health of mothers and babies as well as Nigeria’s indices on breast feeding.
It said improving breast feeding was a collective responsibility and that government at all levels, religious and traditional rulers , spouses and other family members needed to play their roles.
It called for provision of crèches in all public and private facilities, sustenance of the zero water campaign programme, increased health funding and strengthening of primary healthcare facilities to ensure effective breast feeding by mothers.
Director of Programme Development and Quality of Save the Children, Shanon Ward, noted that “breast feeding protects the planet at a time when climate change and environmental degradation were the most urgent challenges facing the world.”
Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, said the National Assembly was reviewing the National Health ACT 2014 and the National Health Insurance Scheme Authority bill to create enabling environment for breastfeeding mothers.
She said the legislature was also working on the six months maternity bill which she described as a major vehicle for exclusive breastfeeding as it would provide breast feeding breaks and spaces for working class mothers.