UNICEF: Breastfeeding Reduces Infant Mortality By 13%

unicefIn commemoration of the World Breastfeeding Week, with the theme: Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal For Life, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has said that breastfeeding can result in up to 13 per cent reduction in infant death as infants that are not well breastfed are 15 and 11 times more likely to die from pneumonia and diarrhoea, respectively.

According to UNICEF chief nutritionist, Dr Stanley Chitekwe, ‘None breastfed infants have been shown to develop chronic diseases in adulthood such as diabetes and cancer.’

He said that no other preventive intervention is more cost effective in reducing the number of children who die before age five.

Meanwhile, health minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has frowned at the non-enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes by the Nigerian authorities. He said “There is no reason why Nigeria should not be WHO code-complaint.”

Professor Chukwu said, “Breastfeeding helps in children’s mental development and the first one thousand days starting from conception is the brain infrastructure development period.

“It is proven that mothers who breastfeed have reduced rate of postpartum bleeding, breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer,” he added.

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