Niger’s acting Minister of Health says breastfeeding is the safest way of preventing malnutrition
On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week 2016, Niger acting Minister of Health, Mr Magagi Laouan (who is also the current Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management) delivered a strong statement of support for the Week which stressed the many benefits and steps needed to ensure that more girls and boys get breastfed. His opinion on the 2016 theme – Breastfeeding: A key to sustainable development – was that is was more relevant today than ever, as it focuses on the optimal breastfeeding practice, between 0 and 2 years of age, with exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
“When mothers are not able to visit health centres, they must benefit from community support networks, health networks, workplace and employment networks, government and legislator networks and if needed, networks that are put in place during times of crisis.” Niger acting Minister of Health, Magagi Laouan.
According to Mr Laouan, only one in five infants are exclusively breastfed up to 6 months. This means that in 77% of cases, newborn girls and boys are feed water, juice and other dairy products – in addition to breastmilk. His clear call to action: mothers need support to start breastfeeding immediately after the birth of a child and also to ensure this practice continues until a girl or boy reaches 6 months. By supporting breastfeeding, not only are good practices of infant feeding and young children upheld, but breastfeeding also helps reduce household expenses, family expenses and expenses for the whole community.
Learn more at Le Sahel