Nursing, lactating mothers should ensure exclusive, complementary breastfeeding for children below 5 – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has advised nursing and lactating mothers to ensure exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding for children below the age of five.

The Nutrition Specialist in the Bauchi Field Office of UNICEF, Dr Rajia Sharhan, gave the advice at the end of an advocacy visit to stakeholders in Ali Kwazaure Community of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau.

Sharhan also advised mothers to adopt complementary feeding for their children at the end of the six-months exclusive breastfeeding, using local food at their disposal.

According to her, such a move would ensure a healthy future generation, devoid of malnourished and stunted children.

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“We are here to sensitise nursing mothers, caregivers and even fathers in both urban and rural communities on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and its early initiation.

“Breastfeeding has countless benefits for mothers, children, and families. It provides total food security for infants, which is available and affordable.

“Nutritious food should be provided for infants up to six months of age and continue to when the child gets to two years and beyond.

“That way, we are sure of a healthy future generation, devoid of malnutrition, stunting, and other health challenges,” she said.

The specialist also explained that UNICEF through the State Primary Health Care Board would establish the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) support group in the community, to support mothers and caregivers in ensuring proper complementary feeding.

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