United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has called on stakeholders to collaborate and promote exclusive breastfeeding to save lives of children.
The Officer in charge of Kano Field Office of the organisation, Mr Micheal Banda, made the call on Wednesday at a one day media dialogue to celebrate ‘The World Breastfeeding Week’.
Banda explained that governments, donors, civil society and the private sector, owed it a duty to step up and make smart investments and commitments towards tackling the global malnutrition crisis.
“They must also demonstrate action, by making tangible commitments towards the full and effective promotion and support of breastfeeding in particular.” Banda said.
He said government must implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitute, through the enforcement of strong legal measures as well as independently monitoring compliance of health professionals and facilities.
He stressed the need for employers to implement family-friendly policies to support mothers with time, space and support to breastfeed, including provision of at least 18 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Highlighting the need for media involvement, Samuel Ka’alu, Communications Consultant for UNICEF, Kano Field Office, said the media needed to advocate action for a change.
Ka’alu enjoined the media to communicate key messages on breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding, as a quick win.
“There is need to commit to further action in promoting breastfeeding in the longer term, to stimulate interest in focusing on breastfeeding and nutrition in media reports,” he stressed.