WELLBEING FOUNDATION AFRICA marks world breastfeeding week 2019 to empower parents and enable breastfeeding
To mark this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, which will take place from 1st to 7th August, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa is set to host a week-long series of activities targeted at new mothers with the aim of fostering proper nutrition by promoting breastfeeding. Events will be held across MamaCare Antenatal and Postnatal Education classes in hospitals across Lagos, Kwara, Osun States and Abuja to empower mothers to breastfeed properly, helping their babies start strong for a better future.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week, which has the theme “Empower Parents; Enable Breastfeeding”, will give the Wellbeing Foundation Africa the opportunity to create awareness on optimal breastfeeding practices, including early initiation to breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and proper complimentary feeding after the first six months.
The Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, commented: “This year’s World Breastfeeding Week is an opportunity for the organization to highlight the successes of our Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding programme, and our flagship MamaCare Antenatal and Postnatal Education programme, both of which have effectively delivered in their mandate to promote maternal and child health, particularly the strengthening of breastfeeding practices for improved health of newborns.
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, and the developer of the innovative MamaCare Antenatal and Postnatal Education Programme, I am delighted with the level of success achieved by both programmes within the last couple of years, particularly in improving infant and child nutrition.
I am encouraged by the progress achieved and we are determined to use this World Breastfeeding Week as a milestone to re-commit to the objective of preventing illness, stunting and malnutrition, ensuring the healthy growth and development of infants and young children through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa recognizes and promotes the importance of breast milk for premature and sick neonates as the first and optimal nutrition in fragile situations.”
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).