In a renewed effort to tackle acute malnutrition in Bauchi State, UNICEF has established six additional Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAN) sites in addition to previous ones.
The new six CMAN Local Goverment are Bauchi, Darazo, Itas Gadu, Warji, Gamawa and Tafawa Balewa.
This was disclosed in Bauchi by the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Bauchi, Abdulai Kai-Kai while speaking during the flag off of CMAN site which is part of the programme to commemorate this year’s breast feeding week organized by UNICEF in collaboration with Bauchi State Governemnt and Bauchi State Chapter of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists.
According to Kaiaka, 11 million under five children are malnourished in Nigeria adding that the level of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria is only 17 percent, meaning that at least 5.4 million children miss out on its benefits, contributing to the country problem of chronic child malnutrition.
Kaikai who was representedby by UNICEF Nutrition Specialist in Bauchi, Philomena Irena commended the Bauchi State government for their support in tackling acute malnutrition in the state.
On exclusive brastfeeding, Kaikai said delaying breastfeeding by 2-23 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”, says Kaikai.
In his remarks, chairman of Bauchi State Primary Health Care Agency Adamu Gamawa said nine additional CMAN centers will be established in the state by 2018. He stressed the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for children under 6 months calling on mothers to ensure that their children are well breastfeed. Gamawa thereby re-iterated the commitment of the state government to ensuring quickening health care service for mothers and children.
Highlight of the occasion was donation of gifts to mothers practising exclusive breastfeeding as well as up to date immunization for their children.