By Samuel Luka, Bauchi
In commemoration of 2022 international breastfeeding week with a theme: STEP UP FOR BREASTFEEDING, EDUCATE AND SUPPORT, Face-Pam Bauchi office in partnership with Oxfam Line project have marked the week in six local government areas of Ningi, Shira Darazo, Gamawa, Tafawabalewa and Alkaleri.
During the period, the two Non-governmental Organizations advocated for the need to strengthen exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers.
In Darazo and Alkaleri the team were led by Abigail James, where over 200 women from hard to reach remote areas turned up for the campaign and were sensitized on exclusive breastfeeding of six weeks and its complementry measures.
In Yautare community of Darazo LGA where only three women out of over hundred are practicing exclusive breastfeeding, the women after receiving lectures from both Face-Pam and LGA Nutrition officers, the campaign was able to receive wider acceptance from the women.
In an interview with the Darazo Local Government Nutrition officer he pointed out that the major challenge is Religion, Traditional believe that is effecting the processes.
The village head of Yautare while receving the team in his palace, expressed support to the idea of exclusive breastfeeding as result of the benefit attach to it, promising to take the massage down to his people.
The team were also at the Duguri communities in Alkaleri LGA, where there is an ongoing awareness of Exclusive breastfeeding and other project embarked upon by Face-Pam and Oxfam Line in the area of Nutrition.
The women expressed gratitude to Face Pam and Oxfam for the program, acknowledging that they have benefited a lot.
The women appealed for the continuity of the program as according to them, it has impacted economically on their lives.
Being the market day, the campaign rally was also taken to the market square to the palace of District head of Duguri where the officials briefed him on the need for exclusive breastfeeding.
Being a long week celebration of the program, the Bauchi state government, and some development partners met at kofar Rand maternity to officially celebrate the day which was cheered by the wife of the Bauchi state Governor, Aisha Bala mohammed.
In her remark, the wife of the governor said the aim of celebrating the week is to create awareness on the importance of Exclusive breastfeeding.
She expressed optimism that the various intervention by developmental partners in encouraging exclusive breastfeeding will surely increase more awareness for exclusive breastfeeding in the state.
Hajiya Aisha called on all mothers and fathers to support the six months exclusive breastfeeding campaign due to its importance to the health of both the children and the mothers.
On his part, the executive chairman, Bauchi state primary health care development agency, Dr Rilwanu muhammed expressed dismay over non compliance of Bauchi women to exclusive breastfeeding.
Dr. Rilwanu who revealed that only 6% compliance to six months exclusive breastfeeding was recorded against 10 percent in 2021, attributed the low percentage to shyness among women.
According to him, the Bauchi state government has after careful study, identified 26 communities for development partners to carry their campaign to.
Dr. Rilwanu said among the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, it serve as automatic family planning as well as help women not to have cancer of the breast.
He further explained that compliance to six months exclusive breastfeeding by women also help economically as it will reduce cost after child birth.
In his Goodwill massage, the manager Oxfam line in Bauchi Mr Samuel Lashom said, currently in the past six to seven years, oxfam is executing livelyhood and Nutrition empowerment under a sustainable economic growth project sponsored by Global affairs Canada in six LGA’s of Bauchi.
He said the empowerment initiative has Nutrition as its main pillar in supporting rural communities with knowledge, skills and sensitization around key Nutrition components which exclusive breastfeeding is one of them.