UNICEF laments global breast­feed­ing fail­ure

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Olayemi John-Men­sah

No coun­try in the world fully meets rec­om­mended stan­dards for breast­feed­ing, a new re­port by UNICEF and the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Global Breast­feed­ing Col­lec­tive re­vealed.

The Global Breast­feed­ing Scorecard, which eval­u­ated 194 na­tions, found that only 40 per cent of chil­dren younger than six months were breast­fed ex­clu­sively (given noth­ing but breast milk) and only 23 coun­tries have ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing rates above 60 per cent.

Ev­i­dence showed that breast­feed­ing has cog­ni­tive and health ben­e­fits for both in­fants and their moth­ers. It is es­pe­cially crit­i­cal dur­ing the first six months of life, help­ing pre­vent di­ar­rhea and pneu­mo­nia, two ma­jor causes of death in in­fants. Moth­ers who breastfeed have a re­duced risk of ovar­ian and breast can­cer, two lead­ing causes of death among women.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of WHO, Dr Te­dros Ad­hanom Ghe­breye­sus, stated that, breast­feed­ing gives babies the best pos­si­ble start in life, while adding that breast milk works like a baby’s first vac­cine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.