UNICEF Urge Exclusive Breastfeeding for Infant Growth and Survival  

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By Muhammadu Sabiu

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised a poignant concern over the adverse effects of artificial feeding on infants, underscoring the significance of breastfeeding for optimal growth, development, and survival.

During a compelling media dialogue held in Bauchi, to commemorate the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist Philomena Irene delivered a resounding warning against the practise of substituting breastfeeding with artificial feeding.

The event, organized under the theme ‘Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents,’ spotlighted the indispensable role of breastfeeding in nurturing a healthier future generation.

In a fervent appeal to women, Irene emphasized the pivotal role of exclusive breastfeeding as a cornerstone for a more sustainable world, serving as the primary means to ensure a child’s well-being during their first six months of life.

She passionately advocated for embracing the natural process, asserting that it holds the key to a child’s safety and survival.

Highlighting the unparalleled benefits of breast milk, Irene underscored its status as a comprehensive source of optimal nutrients essential for infant growth.

In addition, she emphasized the antibodies present in breast milk that provide infants with a robust defence against a spectrum of threats, including viruses, bacteria, and diverse infections.

Moreover, breast milk’s remarkable attributes extend to combating childhood obesity and diabetes while nurturing a child’s cognitive abilities.

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