WELLBEING FOUNDATION AFRICA CONCLUDES ALIVE AND THRIVE INFANT AND YOUNG CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM: DONATES SPECIALIST TRANSITION EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS TO LAGOS AND KADUNA STATE HEALTH FACILITIES
Today, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa hosted 60 healthcare workers to the project transition event of the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding programme. These health workers represented partnering health facilities that performed outstandingly during the programme which was carried out in over 500 private healthcare facilities in Lagos State by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa. The Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding programme which was scaled in 2018 has successfully reached over 200,000 antenatal care attendees, 120,000 mothers of children less than 2 years and 15,000 family members with an increased counseling content of facility healthcare workers in Infant and Young Child Feeding.
This IYCF transition event was organized to help health workers from these partnering facilities share achievements and successes that have been recorded throughout the course of this programme. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa and FHI360 Alive and Thrive Team, also presented these healthcare facilities with state-of-the-art breastfeeding simulators to aid the education of mothers on proper breastfeeding.
H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, WBFA Founder-President, who was represented at the event by the Vice President of the Foundation, Dr. Alero Roberts commented: “The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is deeply grateful to our partnering healthcare facilities for their support throughout the implementation of the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding programme within their facilities. Through our improved MamaCare360 programme, we are committed to continuing working with all our partners to promote early initiation to breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, and proper complementary feeding for children after the first six months. We have engaged more midwives across our various facilities in Lagos, Kwara, Kaduna, Osun States and Abuja, to support in-facility healthcare workers to promote maternal and infant nutrition.
"I am encouraged by the milestones we have achieved, reaching over 200,000 antenatal care attendees, 120,000 mothers of children less than 2 years and 15,000 family members with an increased counseling content of facility healthcare workers in Infant and Young Child Feeding. As we conclude this impactful multi-year program, it is important that our upskilled healthworkers, inter-personal community interlocutors and coaches are empowered and engendered to build on the program's success, independently and sustainably - this has guided our donation of state of the art equipment so that our breastfeeding guardians may accelerate nutrition results for every newly delivered mother and her newborn, till 5 years of age. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is committed to improving knowledge and rates of breastfeeding for better health outcomes for women and their families in Nigeria."
In her remarks, the State Coordinator for the FHI360, Dr. Uche Ralph-Opara, commented: “I will like to commend you all for the effort and service rendered in assisting mothers breastfeed properly, especially with the early initiation to breastfeeding within the first hour of birth. I encourage you all to sustain the progress achieved and engage with key stakeholders within the family, to strengthen the support system needed by mothers to breastfeed. You are all breastfeeding champions, and we are grateful for your support.”
According to initial available data, malnutrition accounts for more than 50% of "under-five" mortality in the 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).