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Wellbeing Foundation Africa and partners Launch the Multimedia Campaign to Improve Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices in Lagos State

The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, as an implementing partner of the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Programme in Lagos and Kaduna, today congratulates the Lagos State government and other partners on the official launch of the media campaign to improve IYCF practices within the state. The “Start Strong” campaign was formally launched today by the Honourable Commissioner of Health for Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris.

The campaign, championed by the state Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) and the State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (LADENAP) and supported by Alive & Thrive project, with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a unique initiative that will catalyze behavior change towards improving IYCF indices in Lagos state.

H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, WBFA Founder-President, commented: “As Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, the private sector health facilities implementing partner of the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Children Feeding and Nutrition Initiative in Lagos and Kaduna States, I am delighted, alongside our partners FHI 360, Save the Children International and all media partners to welcome the launch of the Media Campaign to improve Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in Lagos State today.”

“The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is committed to improving knowledge and rates of breastfeeding for better health outcomes for women and their families in Nigeria”.

Malnutrition accounts for more than 50% of under-five mortality in Lagos state. Infant Mortality rate is at 103 per 1000 live births (NDHS 2013), while under-5 mortality rates are at 169 per 1000 live births (NDHS 2013). The rate of timely breastfeeding initiation is 28.9% (MICS 2017), with only 19.7% of children being exclusively breastfed (MICS 2017), and only 10% of children aged 6 – 23 months were fed appropriately. Within the State, 11.7% of children are wasted from acute under nutrition, 47% of children under-5 years are stunted, while 34% are under weight (MICs 2017).

L-R: Ms Omowunmi, Save the Children; Mrs Amy Oyekunle, WBFA; Dr Uche Ralph-Okpara, State Coordinator Alive & Thrive; Ms Tilewa Denloye, WBFA; Chidi Akwiwu, Alive & Thrive.

Alive and Thrive aims to save lives, prevent illness stunting and malnutrition, ensuring the healthy growth and development of infants and young children through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, through a four-pronged approach:  policy and advocacy; interpersonal communication and community mobilization; mass communication; and strategic use of data.

The programme, which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by FHI 360, Save the Children International and The Wellbeing Foundation Africa in several states including Lagos and Abuja, will run until 2020.

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