(Opinion): Exclusive Breastfeeding is a Goal to Many Goals – Ibraheem Olasunkanmi Qoseem

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By Ibraheem Olasunkanmi Qoseem

Living an healthy life in an atmosphere of livelihood is a right for every human being; while creating this environ is a responsiblity of everyone but largely the governments through international, national and local health interventions.

In an effort towards achieving this goal (good health), exclusive breastfeeding is a step forward. Exclusive breastfeeding according to WHO is recommended as the initiation of breastfeeding in early hour of birth, to wholly six months and continued breastfeeding to two years with additional complementary safe food.

Breastfeeding is a natural nourishment that has a medical and cultural advantages to the mother and babies. To babies, it helps in reducing preventable childs’ death, build brains and improve the weight loss while to mothers, it reduces risk of ovarian cancer; lowers the rate of diabetes and helps regain pre-pregnant weight faster.

As important as this breastfeeding is to the people involved- mothers and babies- and largely to human race(lower health care cost), it has been grossly abused due to some reasons, which ultimately rendered it less efficient. The incidences of preventable diseases and deaths have become a harsh reality in our today’s society.

According to global breastfeeding report by WHO, the inadequate of feeding practices and malnutrition contribute to 50 per cent of under five mortality. It is because of this unceremonious development that is why we need to Step Up our games by educating and supporting the nursing mothers, pregnant women and prospective mothers as it was tagged in this year World Breastfeeding Week by WHO.

Different is when the mother could not survive the labor room, another is when she has infections that is preventing her from nursing the baby; what reason do you have that refrain you from exclusively breastfeeding your babies? Is it piccayunish expressions like, “it makes my breast sag or makes me slimmingly appear”? Continues! The consequences are there for you to nurse.

Poverty alleviation, quality education, decent work, affordable housing, sustainable communities, and climate action are Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) that equally need to be met but none can be achieved out of SDG 3-good health and wellbeing; it is with good health that you can think of other thing else. We must all have experienced the sick bed in one way or the other: how was it? Good health is just underrated!

Attaining health coverage and safe access to effective treatment should be our main priority while other things can follow. Of the strategies that had helped in mitigation of unhealthy courses, exclusive breastfeeding is a proven measure to reduce child and maternal mortality rate. The main reason why we must devise all means both with conventional and new media to educate our women on the importance and the benefits of breastfeeding.

Faulting women alone for poor breastfeeding practices is partly biased; as husband, what are you doing to support your wife at the period? As an employer, do you have a workplace breastfeeding policy? And the Governments does the existing law of six months ‘maternity leave’ still effective in your territory? These are areas that we need to shift our animadversive lenses to, not only the usual view.

Whilst we are about to sit up in addressing this red flag challenge, it is pertinent to celebrate those women who exclusively breastfed their wards regardless of one challenge to another bedeviling them; you are truly heroines. On a concluding note, I implore governments, civil societies and individuals to Step Up their games in the promotion of good breastfeeding practice.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week

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