Exclusive breastfeeding averts 13 per cent childhood deaths – UNICEF official

Breastfeeding Photo: The Guardian
Photo: The Guardian

Ada Ezeogu, a Nutrition Specialist with United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said on Wednesday that 13 per cent of death among children could be averted if mothers embark on exclusive breastfeeding.

Mrs. Ezeogu made the assertion in Igbara Oke, Ondo State, during a five-day workshop organised by the Ondo State Ministry of Information in collaboration with UNICEF on “Production of Radio Scripts on Facts For Life’’.

She said children that were well breastfed had six times greater chances of survival in the early months than children not well breastfed.

“An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than non-breastfed child.

“Breastfeeding drastically reduces deaths from acute respiratory infection and diarrhoea, the two major child killers.

“Exclusively breastfed child do better on intelligence and behaviour tests than formula-fed babies,” she said.

Also speaking at the event, Adebola Hassan, Health Specialist with UNICEF reiterated the importance of immunisation to children.

Ms. Hassan said wrong notions about immunisation must be corrected through partnership with the media.

“Immunisation has been a cost effective public health intervention in the prevention of childhood diseases,” she said.

Part of the objectives of the workshop was to develop a radio programme that would create the much needed awareness on facts of life topics.

The topics are; Exclusive breastfeeding, Immunisation, Open defecation, Hand washing with soap and water and Essential new born care.


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