Kwara state begins nutrition campaign

Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

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The Kwara State Government has commenced a sensitization campaign to enlighten the residents on the benefits of the practice of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding and home gardening within the state, assuring them of its firm resolve at promoting nutrition in the state. The sensitization campaign was part of the activities of the Kwara State Ministry of Communications’ Food and Nutrition Sensitisation Programme.

 

Read Also: Nigeria’s First Lady Advocates Exclusive Breastfeeding For Infants

 

The State Commissioner for Communications, Saddiq Buhari, made the call at the side-lines of the Food and Nutrition Awareness Campaign with the theme; “Operation Feed Yourself” and “Exclusive Breastfeeding”. Buhari stated that good nutrition is important for a healthy and balanced life, calling on parents, especially mothers, to ensure that they take care of their babies and follow health givers’ instructions by breastfeeding new born babies in the first 60 minutes of life after birth, and exclusively for the first 6 months with zero water.

 

According to him, exclusive breastfeeding also called EBF is as advantageous as it is cheap. “God in his infinite wisdom has provided all our babies’ need for the first 6 months of life and we do not need to use our money to buy milk for them, all things being equal, till they are above 6 months,” he added.”

 

“Breastmilk will come naturally and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has all the nutrients your babies need to carry them for the first 6 months after which you begin complimentary feeding. Water is in the breast milk in the right quantity so there is no need to give water to a baby under 6 months who is exclusively breastfed”. 

 

He disclosed that the Government of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has equipped the health facilities and the Primary Health Care Centers are working efficiently in ensuring that Maternal and Newborn health is guaranteed and significantly reduce cases of casualties.

 

The Commissioner also urged indigenes to start home garden to mitigate hunger and prevent malnutrition in the society. “Many of us have space in our compounds. Let us start rearing livestock. We can also begin fishery farming at our backyard. No space is too small. Let us start something . “Operation Feed Yourself” has started this Year 2023. Let us go home and start something,” he added.

 

The sensitization campaign team leader, Dr. Mrs. Fatimah Amuda, noted that “the sensitization campaign centred on the practice and benefits of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, and benefits of home gardening. “

The campaign team comprised of members of staff of Kwara State Ministries of Communications, Health and Agriculture and Rural Development and the Kwara State Road Maintenance Agency.

 

Speaking further, Dr. Mrs. Amuda disclosed that “the campaign team covered different strategic locations in Kwara Central, Kwara North and Kwara South Senatorial Districts. The starting point was the Government House after which the team proceeded to Basin, Kulende market and later Ipata Market.”

“We then moved to Shao town. We had a stopover at Oja Oba market on our way back to Ilorin before heading to Ganmo Community, which was our last point of contact”.

“Our team distributed flyers which were produced in Yoruba and English languages, and also played jingle that informed the listeners on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and home gardening.”

 

Dr. Amuda disclosed that information on the flyer about breastfeeding includes, “breastfeed your baby in the first minutes of life after birth; breastfeed your baby in the first six months of life after birth with zero water.

 

“Breastfeeding contains anti-biotics that helps you baby fight infections; exclusive breastfeeding improves the intelligence level of your baby, lower baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies; and lastly, it facilitates bond between mother and baby.”

 

 

S.S