UNICEF said if more women breastfeed children in Nigeria, it could save lives of over 100,000 children.

breastfeeding

According to UNICEF, improved breastfeeding practices can save more than 100,000 children each year in Nigeria and 22 million dollars in health care treatment costs related to inadequate breastfeeding.

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The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Nigeria Country Representative, Cristian Munduate, made this request in a statement on the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The World Breastfeeding Week runs from August 1 to August 7 across the world.

The theme for WBW 2023, “Enable Breastfeeding, making a Difference for Working Parents”, focuses on creating more awareness on breastfeeding support in workspaces.

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Mr Munduate said that it could also generate an additional $21 billion for the economy over children’s productive years by increasing cognitive capacity and preventing premature mortality in the early years.

“There is evidence today that every ₦1,000 invested in supporting breastfeeding can yield an estimated ₦35,000 in economic returns for Nigeria.

“While I acknowledge significant strides made in the past two decades in Nigeria to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates, it remains evident that more needs to be done.

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“Presently, only seven out of 36 states provide six months fully paid maternity leave and only 34 per cent of children aged zero to six months are exclusively breastfed as recommended by UNICEF.”

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