By Murtala Muhammad
Bauchi State Government is to train nursing mothers on the use of locally produced food for their babies as complementary feeding after the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding.
The complementary food known as Kwash Pap or Tom Brown is prepared using processed Soybean, Groundnut and Sorghum.
The Executive Chairman of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed gave the indication at this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebration held at Yelwa Domiciliary PHC in Bauchi Local Government Area.
Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed said the training which is to be conducted at the various primary healthcare centres across the state is aimed at encouraging mothers on the use of nutritious food for their children.
He said the move was necessary in view of the high cost of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF, used in treating malnourished children whose conditions were necessitated by inadequate breastfeeding.
Dr. Mohammed who argued that the State Government cannot sustain the procurement of the RUTF to malnourished children emphasized the need for mothers to embrace the use of Kwash Pap to save their children from the dangers posed by malnutrition.
On his part, the Acting Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Dayyabu Mohammed Hassan noted that to ensure healthy growth of newborn babies, mothers must adopt exclusive breastfeeding at the first six months of childbirth.
The State First Lady, Hajiya A’isha Bala Mohammed, represented by the wife of the state Deputy Governor, Hajiya A’isha Baba Tela, who said the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for newborn babies were cannot be overestimated expressed satisfaction over the change of attitude witnessed in recent years concerning the practice.
In separate remarks, representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), USAID funded Integrated Health Program (IHP) and Breakthrough Action, BA-Nigeria, Dr. Khalid Abubakar, Dr. Rajia Sharhan, Dr. Sa’adatu Ringim and Usman Inuwa Mohammed respectively, expressed their organizations’ readiness to sustain the existing relationship with the state government towards improving the health of mothers and children.
Meanwhile, some of the trainees were supported with processed Kwash Pap powder, fruits, and proteins among others as intervention.
The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsible”.
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