Exclusive breast-feeding, relevant tool to improve child survival – Experts
By Chioma Obinna , Nkiruka Nnorom and Gabriel Olawale
Nutrition experts have identified exclusive breastfeeding as one of the tools to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – 3, SDGs, aimed at ensuring healthy lives and promote wellbeing for consumers of all ages and ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age by 2030″.
According to the President-elect of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, NSN, Dr. Barthlomew Brai, who spoke at the ‘2016 Nestle CSV Nutrition Media Workshop with the theme’ “Good Nutrition A Way of Life”, explained that breastfeeding is clearly relevant to SDG 3 because breast feeding extends well beyond basic nutrition.
In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients the baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect the baby from illness.
“Breastfeeding is clearly relevant to SDG 3, which includes not only maternal, and child health but also Non Communicable Diseases such as breast cancer, diabetes, obesity among others. It is also relevant to the second goal (on nutrition).”
“The effect of breastfeeding on intelligence and human capital is relevant to SDG 4 (education) the first goal (poverty) and the eighth goal (inclusive economic growth). By helping to close the gap among the poor, breastfeeding can contribute to goal number ten (reducing inequalities). This shows how essential the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding is for the achievement of many of the newly launched SDGs by 2030.”
Brai added that appropriate complementary feeding between six and 23 months remains a proven intervention to significantly reduce stunting during the first two years of life.
“Undernutrition during critical periods in development can lead to adverse health outcomes later in life. Imbalanced maternal and childhood nutrition are linked to NCDs. The life-cycle approach is an appropriate tool for the monitoring and prevention of NCDs.”
In her opening remarks, Head, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Central and West Africa Region of Nestle, Mrs. Peggy Diby said the workshop was a clear demonstration of Nestle commitment to the promotion and protection of breastfeeding and nutrition.