Published: Thu, August 03, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

Breastfeeding: Nigeria, four others lose $119bn annually

Breastfeeding: Nigeria, four others lose $119bn annually

The findings highlighted that 78 per cent of Indian mothers planned to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months post-delivery to ensure a strong and healthy foundation for the child.The survey was conducted to find recent trends and breastfeeding habits of Indian mothers.

Dr Baseer pointed out one major challenge and that is role of healthcare providers in prescribing and promoting indiscriminate sale and use of breast milk substitute and formula milk which is a major threat to life and wellbeing of young children in Pakistan.

"For mothers, the same principles apply; the more they breastfeed, the greater the benefits are as it lowers the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and obesity".

The authors of the scorecard say that every dollar invested in breastfeeding generates $35 in returns, because of reduced health care costs for newborns, their mothers, and illnesses later in life.

"The low rate of exclusive breastfeeding leads to more than 100,000 child deaths and translates into nearly $12 billion in future economic losses for the country which is being incurred in terms of health facilities, hospital space, logistics, investments, overhead cost among others".

According to The Sun (UK) only 0.5 percent of British women continue breasting after one year, which is the lowest rate in the world.

"Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life".

Present annual funding is at $85 million by donors and $250 million by governments in low and middle income countries.

This year's celebration of breast feeding week coincided with the inauguration of Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative (BAI).

The World Health Organization slammed all 194 countries it evaluated for its Global Breastfeeding Scorecard released Tuesday.

Enact paid family leave and workplace breastfeeding policies, building on the International Labour Organisation's maternity protection guidelines as a minimum requirement, including provisions for the informal sector. "Besides breastfeeding the young ones, lactating mothers should also be given proper nutrition supplements".

Importantly, eight out of ten said they breastfed their baby within the first hour of birth, which is vital and significantly reduces deaths within the first 28 days.

No country including India meets the recommended standards for breastfeeding.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that event was organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Others are; Clinton Health Access Initiative, Save the Children and their support partners such as the Future Assured initiative of Buhari.

According to the report, strengthening the links between health facilities and communities, encouraging community networks which protect, promote, and support breastfeeding as well as strengthen monitoring systems can also help. It improves nutrition, prevents child mortality, and decreases the risk of noncommunicable diseases, and supports cognitive development and education.

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