Dr Moses Ohamaeme, Cluster Coordinator representing the World Health Organisation and the United Nations agencies in Anambra, says that a baby who is exclusively breastfed can also fall sick.
Ohamaeme made the assertion at the ongoing 2022 World Breastfeeding Week at Maternal and Child Healthcare Centre, Amawbia, Awka, on Friday.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is observed from August 1 to 7 every year. It was first started in 1992 to promote the benefits of breastfeeding on both mother and the baby.
The theme for this year’s commemoration – “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.”
He said: “Exclusive breastfeeding protects your baby from all kinds of illnesses, but sometimes your baby gets sick anyway.
“It is still possible that your baby will come down with a cold or infection. And if that happens, make sure you take the baby to the hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment.
“Mothers must make sure that they give their babies prescribed medication while they continue to breastfeed. Medication does not deter exclusive breastfeeding.”
Also speaking, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said that exclusive breastfeeding would help eradicate childhood malnutrition in the state.
“Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both moms and babies. For mothers, breastfeeding reduces their risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
“For babies, breast milk contains nutrients your baby needs for growth and development. It also protects your baby against infections and diseases.
“I urge mothers to see breastfeeding as a duty because it is the most effective measures for ensuring a child’s health and survival,” she said.
According to the World Health Organisation and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), baby should be breastfed within an hour of birth and this should continue for the first six months of the child’s Life and given no other food or drinks, including water.