Amanda Pam, the Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration, said on Friday that breastfeeding contributes to poverty reduction.
Pam also said breastfeeding promotes nutrition and food security that were fundamental to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
She said this at a ‘Baby Show’ organised by the FCT Primary Health Care Board in Abuja, to commemorate the 2018 World Breastfeeding Week.
The theme of the event is: “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life”.
According to her, breastfeeding is the foundation that ensures infants and young children get it right in the issues of preventing irreversible conditions that will affect their developmental milestones within the first 1,000 days.
She described the exercise as the gold start and the smartest investment for child survival, growth and development especially with the potential to increase natural immunity and ability of the body, to withstand infections.
According to her, as the first nutrient component to ensure nutrition security, human capital development, thereby contributing to national socio-economic development.
“The theme for this year’s celebration highlights the importance of breastfeeding as a foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers even in time of poverty and crises and as a low cost way of feeding babies.
She said: “Breastfeeding is biological, nutritional, physiological, immunological, psychological, emotional and lots more.”
Earlier, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, the Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board, described baby show as a good way of practically passing the message on the importance of breastfeeding and to drive attention to promote, protect and support its practice.
He said world breastfeeding celebrated from August 1 to 7 annually was aimed at deepening public awareness on the importance of breastfeeding as well as ensuring commitment of government, policy makers and other nutrition stakeholders.
Mohammed, who decried the poor exclusive breastfeeding rate in the country, however urged government and private organisations to provide creches in their various establishments to encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children from 0 to six months.
Mohammed said: “The theme of the year provide mothers, everybody opportunities to discuss the how, when and where’ of breastfeeding.
“Breast milk is God’s natural gift to women for nurturing their babies.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria report the high point of the baby show was the presentation of gift to three best exclusively breastfed babies.