By Nabilu Balarabe
Damaturu, Aug 10,2020 The Yobe Government on Monday says it will implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes to protect and promote exclusive breast feeding of infants.
The code, which was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981, partly stipulates that “ neither health facilities nor health professionals should have a role in promoting breast milk substitutes.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Baba Mallam-Wali, stated this in Damaturu at a press conference marking this year’s World Breastfeeding Week.
Mallam-Wali, who chaired activities marking the event, said breastfeeding was critical to maternal well-being and child’s survival.
He directed the state Ministry of Health and its agencies, to ensure appropriate implementation of the code.
The SSG also said the state would increase funding of programmes that would promote exclusive breastfeeding for children below six months of age.
Mallam-Wali said there would be more interventions, including food demonstration programmes in communities, to improve dietary diversity for children of age six to 23 months.
He expressed concern that breastfeeding initiation rate in the state was low at 12.6 percent.
“ Despite international recommendations and a lot of efforts in the field, only 27.3 percent of all babies under six months are exclusively breastfed, with only 22 percent continuing breastfeeding up to 24 months,” Mallam-Wali said.
The SSG said the state was working closely with the media and other stakeholders to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding.
He urged authorities the 17 local government councils of the state to motivate frontline health workers to intensify efforts at encouraging breastfeeding of babies.
Naija247news reports that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet.