Joseph EMERIBE, Adeyemi ADEWALE
To guarantee optimal infant growth and development, exclusive breastfeeding very important.
The statement was made today by the Kwara State Coordinator of the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC)-Mr. Kenneth Azikiwe, in an exclusive chat with Royal FM at his office in Ilorin, the state capital.
According to him, the best and golden Standard of Nutrition for any new born Child is exclusive breast feeding to guarantee optimal infant growth and development.
In commemoration of World Breastfeeding Week, Mr. Azikiwe charged mothers to do all they can to see that their new born gets breastfed exclusively within an hour of birth and should be sustained for minimum of two years.
He also emphasized on the need for everyone to embrace and support the culture and practice of exclusive breastfeeding for a better society.
“The World Breastfeeding Week is a Week set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF to draw awareness and galvanize support in the practice of breastfeeding”
The state coordinator added that infants should be given breast milk for at least six months with room for complimentary foods afterwards which to him should not be encouraged.
In his words: “for optimal infant growth, a child should be exclusively breastfed for the first six month within one hour after birth thereafter an adequate and appropriate complimentary food is introduced while breastfeeding is continuing for the minimum of two years.
Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for every new born child and we are to support, educate and encourage the practice ” he noted.
He also said that NAFDAC has formulated a Code for Marketing of feeds for infant and young children, noting that the code is a set of rules for food manufacturers, retailers and all key role players to encourage exclusive breast feeding.
He stressed that according to the code, it is wrong for supermarkets and shopping malls to engage in aggressive marketing of infant foods hence the role of NAFDAC in sensitizing health care workers, store operators and the public for compliance.
“Infant foods are not suppose to be given as gift nor donations and anyone found in the act would be face the wrath of the law”, he added.
It could be recalled that every 1st to 7th of August each year is World Breastfeeding Week and it dates back to the early 1990s when World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) introduced a memorandum to support and promote the act of breastfeeding.