Exclusive Breast­feed­ing in Nige­ria

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The level of exclusive breast­feed­ing in Nige­ria is only 17 per cent, mean­ing that at least 5.4 mil­lion chil­dren each year miss out on its ben­e­fits, con­tribut­ing to the coun­try’s prob­lem of chronic child mal­nu­tri­tion; 11 mil­lion chil­dren un­der five are mal­nour­ished in Nige­ria.

The low rate of exclusive breast­feed­ing leads to more than 100,000 child deaths and trans­lates into al­most $12 bil­lion in fu­ture eco­nomic losses for the coun­try.

When the cost of low cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment and low IQ, as well as health costs are added in, in­ad­e­quate breast­feed­ing is es­ti­mated to cost the Nige­rian econ­omy US$21 bil­lion per year, or 4.1 per­cent of its gross na­tional in­come.

About 74% of chil­dren who are not ex­clu­sively breast­fed are from fam­i­lies in the low­est in­come group in Nige­ria. Culled from UNICEF Nige­ria.

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