The Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has commenced World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) and Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Week in the state.
The event was flagged off by the Wife of Kwara Governor, Ambassador Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq on Monday, 31st July 2023, at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin, the state capital.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq, commended the Kwara state government for approving six months of maternity leave for nursing mothers and setting up creches in various ministries to encourage mothers to breastfeed even while at work.
She also said that the flag off of the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Week (MNCHW) was another health intervention which focuses on maternal health care services like ante-natal care, family planning, as well as other child survival strategies like immunisation and nutrition-sensitive interventions.
“These services would be made available in all the 193 wards of the state from August 7th to 11th to ensure increased utilization of low-cost and high-impact interventions during the period.
These interventions are aimed at reducing the unacceptable morbidity and mortality among women and under-5 children in Nigeria.
The commitment of this administration is, however, changing the narrative in the State, as Kwara has one of the lowest under-5 mortalities in the country according to the recent result of the UNICEF multiple indicator cluster survey.” She said.
Mrs Abdulrazaq assured that the state government was deliberate about issues related to mothers and children, “as evidenced in all the interventions across health, women affairs, and social development, and my office and the Ajike People Support Centre are sincerely committed to fostering this drive.”
Earlier in her remark, Dr Nusirat Elelu, the Executive Secretary of Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said that the goal of the two health interventions being flagged off was to reduce morbidity and mortality among women of childbearing age and under-5 children in the state.
She noted that the policies of the Kwara state government under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had led to improvement in the health indices of the state in the last five years.
“For example, the number of children exclusively breastfed improved from 35.7% in 2016 to 57.6% in 2021. Also, 79% of pregnant women in Kwara state were attended to by skilled birth attendants, far above the national average of 50.7%“She said.
Sho Pen Online reports that The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated every 1st – 7th of August in commemoration of the 1990 Innocenti Declaration.