By Deborah Akinpelu
To instil culture of exclusive breastfeeding among women, thus reducing infant mortality by 13 percent in Osun, the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola on Thursday inaugurated a 13-member steering committee on the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding.
The initiative was part of the government’s commitment to fully actualise its dreams of delivering sustainable posterity and development in the health sector.
Inaugurating the Committee which was chaired by the wife of the Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola at Aurora Conference Centre, Osogbo, the Governor noted that the initiative is designed to deliver health and vitality to the state and posterity as breastfeeding remained a global initiative which Osun has domesticated over the years.
He said his administration has resolved to up the game by adopting exclusive breastfeeding- feeding infants nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life- in full measure in order to build a new generation of healthy children who will be able to compete with their peers anywhere in the world.
Governor Oyetola noted that the development was in furtherance of his government’s reslove to consolidate on the giant strides recorded by the immediate past administration on health sector.
He held that the state under his watch has resolved to prioritise maternal and child healthcare as a response to the growing concern about the alarming increase in maternal and infant mortality rate in the nation.
Oyetola averred that the initiative would complement the planned efforts to raise the visibility of breastfeeding as a foundation of child survival, health and development, and as beneficial for maternal health.
He added that the idea would go a long way to galvanize government and donors to invest in breastfeeding programmes and supportive policies, and take urgent policy actions in order to support women and increase breastfeeding rates in the state.
Oyetola charged members of the Committee to put all machineries in motion not only to make the state a reference point in breastfeeding in the nation and on the continent but also to earn it a place in the world.
He tasked members of the Committee to put in their best at making mothers of diverse educational background, beliefs and worldview to change their old ways of haphazard approach to breastfeeding and embrace “feeding infants nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life”.
According to the Governor, exclusive breastfeeding is a core component of maternal and child healthcare, indeed, it is the foundation for nurturing healthy, strong and mentally-alert children.
“Conscious of the fact that the wealth of a nation is directly proportional to the state of health of its citizenry and the quality of its posterity, this administration has resolved to fully embrace exclusive breastfeeding so that the dream of delivering sustainable posterity and development to our dear state would be realised.
“Noting that breastfeeding is the foundation for life, the World Health Organisation states that breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to provide children everywhere with the best start to life.
“Thus, this decision would help to ultimately contribute to building a social movement in which breastfeeding is the social norm, and all mothers and families are empowered and supported to breastfeed”.
Wife of the Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola who doubled as the head of the Committee, promised to take the campaign to every part of the state using various communication platforms and activities.
She urged people in the state particularly women to join hands together for the success of the programme.