The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Kaduna has advised nursing and lactating mothers to place their babies below age five on exclusive breastfeeding.
Mr Nasiru Mato, the Kaduna State coordinator of the agency said, on Wednesday that that exclusive breastfeeding would prepare such children for healthy living.
He also urged nursing mothers’ strict compliance to market Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) to aid infant’s nutrition.
According to him, this would protect infants and young children’s feeding through promotion, protection and support for exclusive breastfeeding.
He described breast milk as a natural and God-given food that is full of nourishment for babies and a balanced diet for optimum healthy growth for infants.
Mato said that exclusive breastfeeding begins within the first one hour after delivery and is expected to continue uninterrupted for the first six months.
He said that research had also proven that breastfeeding helps to eradicate the development of breast tumours in a lactating mother.
“This year’s theme for the breastfeeding week celebration calls for all-around support and encouragement of exclusive breastfeeding for greater outcomes.
“Marketers of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) must ensure that they play the game by the rule so as not to violate the code of BMS as this will attract serious sanctions from NAFDAC.
“NAFDAC will continue to sensitise, enlighten and monitor lactating mothers on exclusive breastfeeding so that they will do it right for them to get it right.
“We must pull all our strengths together in this feat for optimal results,” Mato said.
He urged healthcare providers, medical professionals as well as traditional institutions at all levels to continue to support NAFDAC through robust collaboration in order to achieve the desired results.
This year’s theme for the breastfeeding week is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.”