Nursing Mothers Breastfeeding Babies

World Breastfeeding Week: Enugu First Lady Advocates Exclusive Breastfeeding

The wife of the governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Nkechinyere Mbah, has made a case for exclusive breastfeeding of babies, saying it would help the children grow healthy.

She made the case during a visit to the maternity ward of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, Park Lane, Enugu, on Tuesday where she gifted childcare items and cash to the nursing mothers and also cleared the medical bills of those, who have been in the hospital due to outstanding medical bills.

Mrs. Mbah assured that Governor Peter Mbah administration had already marshaled out plans to reform the health sector to make it more qualitative and affordable, adding that the governor had equally taken particular note of the need to improve the quality of maternal, infant, and child healthcare in the state.

“Exclusive and extended breastfeeding is not easy, but it is something you have to do. Your baby deserves to be well-breastfed. It boosts their immune system, and I never really had the need to be taking children to the hospital, except for immunisation, because my babies were healthy. So, I can tell you from experience that breastfeeding really works. So, I encourage you to breastfeed our babies. Forget about people that do about two or three months of breastfeeding”.

Speaking, the Chief Nursing Officer, Post-Natal Ward, Rosemary Osuoji, ESUT Teaching Hospital said: “Besides the items and cash gifts to nursing mothers, the wife of the governor also attended to the postnatal mothers, who have been discharged several weeks ago but could not afford hospital bills due to financial constraints. So, she settled their bills of about six of them and they are now free to go home”.

Read Also: Six Months Breastfeeding a Powerful Life Saver for Mother, Child – UNICEF

Speaking, the Permanent Secretary of Enugu State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, said the administration was already working to increase maternity leave in the state from four to six months.

“Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week. The emphasis is on exclusive breastfeeding to make sure that women that have just delivered implement the policy so that the immune systems of the babies will be well built, and those new infants will be free from neonatal diseases and infection. That is the way to go.

“Presently, nursing mothers are entitled to four months maternity leave, but we are currently working through the Office of the Head of Service to see if that could be increased to six months of fully paid maternity leave.”, he explained.

On his part, the Chief Medical Director of ESUT Teaching Hospital, Dr. Hyacinth Onah, thanked the wife of the governor for her magnanimity and for her encouraging words to the nursing mothers, reiterating that exclusive breastfeeding makes the children healthier.

World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration, which is held every year from August 1 to 7 in more than 120 countries to raise awareness and galvanise action on themes related to breastfeeding.