The Enugu state Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) says the statewide month-long exclusive breastfeeding campaign remains a huge success.
The Executive Secretary of ENS-PHCDA, Dr George Ugwu, told newsmen in Enugu on Thursday that the campaign had recently increased the number of expectant mothers attending anta-natal clinics within health facilities in the state.
It would be recalled that ENS-PHCDA launched a breastfeeding awareness campaign from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 through the media, Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), general hospitals and other health facilities in the state.
Ugwu said that within the month of August, the state witnessed massive and continuous media sensitisation, advocacy visits to community and religious leaders and health facility-based health education on benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.
He noted that anta-natal attendance remained a sure way of ensuring that expectant mothers, nursing mothers and their babies are secured from child-killer diseases and other illness that disturb mothers.
“We are happy that the month-long campaign has recorded huge success through the increased number of expectant mothers attending anta-natal, which is the bedrock of mother-and-child health education necessary for their protection.
“Anta-natal attendance also provides opportunity for would-be mothers to learn when, why and how breastfeeding should be administered and other safety precautions.
“We also used the campaign to appeal to mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers to support mothers to do exclusive breasting for the first six months of life and mix breast-milk with other food from six months to two years.
“We also hammered on the need for every child to take and complete all routine immunizations that have been made free by the state government and her partners,’’ he said.
Ugwu thanked the health-loving governor of the state, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for his tremendous support that led to the huge success of the month-long campaign.
“The agency is grateful to the wife of the governor, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi’s foundation, the Ugo Touch of Life Foundation (UTOLF), for supporting the campaign with medical consumables.
“We thank our partners – WHO, UNICEF, Primary Health Care Development Agency, media and others – for their support as well,” he said.
The month-long exclusive breastfeeding campaign ended with a grand finale and baby show for Uzo Uwani and Nkanu West Local Government Areas on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 respectively.
It would be recalled that the United Nations, through the WHO, has set aside Aug. 1 to Aug. 7 yearly as World Breastfeeding Week, whose theme for 2021 is: “Protect Breastfeeding, A Shared Responsibility”.
The week is meant to draw attention to critical issues of infant health and immune boost based on well-practiced exclusive breastfeeding programme.