The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has established six additional centres for Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in Bauchi to tackle the menace among children in the state.
The CMAM site opened as part of activities marking the 2017 World Breastfeeding Week.
Chief of Bauchi UNICEF field office, Abdulai Kai-Kai, represented by UNICEF Nutrition Specialist in Bauchi, Philomena Irena, said 11 million children under five years are malnourished in Nigeria.
He lamented that despite sustained campaigns, the level of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria is only 17 percent which according to him at least 5.4 million children miss out on its benefits which contributed to the problem of chronic child malnutrition in many parts of the country.
He commended the Bauchi state government for their support in tackling acute malnutrition in the state.
Kaikai warned that delaying breastfeeding by two to 23 hours after birth increases risk of dying in the first 28 days of a baby’s life by 40 percent.
“Knowledge about importance of exclusive breastfeeding is low in Nigeria. In parts of the country, only about 25% of mothers know that new born babies should be given only breast milk in the first six months of life. Many think incorrectly that babies should be given breast milk alone for only 2-4 months,” he added.
In his remarks, the executive chairman of Bauchi State Primary Health Care Agency, Adamu Gamawa said that nine more CMAM centers will be established in the state by 2018.
He noted that exclusive breastfeeding is very important for children under six months, he therefore called on mothers to ensure that their children are well breastfed.
Gamawa re-iterated commitment of the state Government in ensuring quaking health care service for mothers and children.
CMAM centres have been established in only three local government areas: Dambam, Kirfi and Katagum.
The six new CMAM centres are in Bauchi, Darazo, Itas Gadau, Warji, Gamawa and Tafawa Balewa local government areas.
Highlight of the occasion was donation of gifts to mothers doing exclusive breastfeeding and up-to-date with immunisation for their children.
Daily Trust News