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Wellbeing Foundation Africa highlights the role of breastfeeding, boosts access to medical equipment for Midwives.

Thursday, August 4th. Lagos, Nigeria. Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a non-governmental organization, founded in 2004, by Her Excellency, Mrs Toyin Ojora-Saraki, with the aim of improving health outcomes for women, infants and children has pointed out that breastfeeding is the best food security for infants from mothers as it is the perfect, safer and cheaper source of nutrition for babies. This call was made during the 2022 Breastfeeding Week themed, ‘Set Up for Breastfeeding and Educating Support.’

In 2016, the foundation in partnership with Laerdal Global Health established a memorandum of understanding (MoU) toward a working partnership to increase midwives’ access to training and medical equipment in Nigeria. Since then, with Laerdal’s support, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) has trained healthcare facility midwives on how to use simulation models and build their capacity and knowledge on breastfeeding through training on the demonstration of the use of the anatomical models to teach mothers. Through the Training of Trainer (TOT) model, the trained health workers teach and encourage mothers to breastfeed their children with demonstrations on proper positioning and attachment, latching and the right sitting position for mothers while breastfeeding.

During the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week, “Her Excellency, Mrs Toyin Ojora-Saraki, said," Breastfeeding is food security for infants from the very beginning of life. Placing the mother-baby dyad at the core of our programming at Wellbeing Foundation Africa tackles early initiation and nutrition supplementation, to end cycles of poor health"

Currently, WBFA has employed the use of the various Laerdal models in its frontline programming in their Mamacare360˚ Antenatal, Postnatal and Family Planning Classes in 89 facilities, reaching over 230,000 returning and new mothers annually, including 55 facilities-based midwives through its programs across the country to teach and demonstrate to mothers the need for breastfeeding, proper positioning and attachment to ensure the baby gets enough milk and reduced nipple cracks due to poor attachment using visual demonstration with the aid of anatomical models.

To further extend its impact on breastfeeding, from 2018-2021, WBFA implemented the WBFA-UNFPA-Nutrition International Mamacare + NutritionLift (Mamacare+N) programme which recorded a remarkable impact in 30 selected facilities and 32 communities in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Kwara and Lagos states, as midwives used the Laerdal breast models to demonstrate best breastfeeding practices to pregnant women and nursing mothers. This resulted in a consistent top performance in the aforementioned states in reducing maternal neonatal, child mortality and morbidity rates thus improving survival indices, with Kwara State having the lowest mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.

So far, over 547 hospitals and clinics healthcare workers across Nigeria have been trained by WBFA using the Laerdal Global Health simulation training models products as the foundation continues to commit to contributing towards enhancing the quality of the educational experience for mothers at antenatal classes and building their confidence in preparation for childbirth and breastfeeding.

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