Exclusive Breastfeeding: UNICEF to Launch “Zero Water Campaign” in Kaduna
By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
As part of measures to further protect exclusive breastfeeding practice in Kaduna state, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has revealed that it will be launching a “Zero Water Campaign” for babies below 6months of age.
The launch is aimed at generating more commitments at all levels in reducing the inherent practice of 47% inclusion of water to the breastfed infants of less than 6 months towards proactive exclusive breastfeeding practice, according to Chinwe Ezeife.
Chinwe, who is the Nutrition Specialist UNICEF Kaduna Field Office disclosed this in an interview with journalists in her office, as part of activities to mark the 2019 ‘World Breastfeeding Week’.
She explained that the campaign in Kaduna will come immediately after it’s launch at the national level by the wife of the President and First Lady, Aisha Buhari.
“This week, we are launching national and States “Zero Water Campaign”, at the national level, it will be launched by the First Lady Aisha Buhari. After the national launch, the wife of the Kaduna state Governor will also launch the zero campaign in the state.” Chinwe added.
The Nutrition Specialist, said “UNICEF would also use the platform to advocate for family friendly policies such as; strengthen policy provisions that support maternity leave for 6 months in public sector.
“Provision of creches, paid paternity leave to ensure full participation of both parents as well as an enabling environment for breastfeeding in the informal sector to encourage more working mothers to breastfeed their babies.”
Commemoration of 2019 World Breastfeeding Week, which started Thursday 1st of August with the theme: “Empower Parents, Enable breastfeeding – Now and the future” will end Wednesday 7th.
“What we are promoting this week is for everybody to realize the importance of breastfeeding, that woman alone is not the only person to act, every person in the family, every person in the community, even our work places, the policy makers.
“Kaduna State Government is in the forefront of supporting, promoting and protecting breastfeeding, hence the state Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, have adopted the implementation of the 6 months maternity leave, this is inline with the 6 months exclusive breastfeeding we are promoting.
“He has realized that one challenge of achieving exclusive breastfeeding is that of a mother who may leave the home after 3 months to resume duty and so he has approved and adopted the 6 months maternity leave to enable that woman practice, protect, promote a support breastfeeding especially the very first 6 months.” She said.