Malnutrition: UNICEF, Kaduna to organise baby-friendly competition

Mothers feeding their babies with RUTF at CMAM centre - Malnutrition: UNICEF, Kaduna to organise baby-friendly competition
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By Usman Ibn A Lapai




A baby friendly competition among communities is underway in Kaduna state to encourage mothers practice exclusive breastfeeding and adequate nutritional intake

Communication for development specialist, UNICEF Kaduna, MrEki George, made this known yesterday at the ongoing five-day workshop organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to domesticate the National Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) strategy, for infant and young child feeding (IYCF), 2016 – 2020

“The baby friendly competition is a new innovation along with high community dialogue and community communication action plan designed to raise awareness around IYCF issues to serve as a platform to motivate communities to fully embrace IYCF practices to ensure healthy living among infant and children under five,” he said

The official said communities were expected to practice early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding to win the competition

The communication specialist believed that the competition would get everyone involved in providing adequate feeding to their children, noting that any community that wins would receive incentives that would motivate others to key into the IYCF practices “It’s a win-win for everyone

It saves family income that would have ordinarily gone into buying baby formula that at the end does not really improve child health and well being “Th e community and government would equally get healthier and productive citizens,” he added

George explained that the effort was to address the disturbing malnutrition indices in the state, which put 57 per cent of children under five years as stunted and 42 per cent acutely malnourished

A Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2017) indicates that only 289 per cent nursing mothers in the state practice early breastfeeding within an hour of birth and only 197 per cent women practice exclusive breast feeding

The result put infant mortality rate at 103 per 1000 live births and under five mortality rate at 169 per 1000 live births in the state




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