Fidson Healthcare Plc has thrown its weight behind breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for infants and young children, which is the cornerstone for a child’s healthy growth as well as a country’s development. The leading pharmaceutical company called on Nigerian women to embrace breastfeeding of their babies to avoid diseases and infections to the child’s health. The advice came on the heel of the company’s concern for the health and well-being of the Nigerian mother and child, in commemoration of the world breastfeeding week which commenced on the 1st of August, 2016.
World Health Organisation’s report tied the increasing child mortality rate to lack of adequate breastfeeding. WHO’s report estimated that 3.1 million child deaths annually or 45 per cent of all child deaths are caused by under nutrition and that over 800 000 children’s lives could be saved every year among children under 5, if all children 0–23 months were optimally breastfed.
The Marketing Manager, Fidson, Mr. Friday Enaholo said breast milk is an essential source of energy and nutrients for children aged 6 to 23 months as it can provide more than half of a child’s energy needs between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. He stressed that breast milk is also a critical source of nourishment during illness, and reduces child mortality.
He also noted that supporting breastfeeding is one of the viable health investments any country’s government can make, especially in preventing child mortality, improving maternal and child health. He therefore advised all concerned to support breastfeeding, especially for working mothers.
“The World Breastfeeding Week is intended to draw attention to and raise awareness of this natural responsibility of a mother. There is the need to drum support for the working class mother who is nursing a baby; and to call on employers and policy makers to spare a thought for the hard-working, lactating mother when developing labour related policies that have to do with the workplace. A happy mother is a productive employee,” he said.
Enaholo believes in the bond that exists between mother and child while breastfeeding. He noted that breastfeeding is a natural interaction between mother and baby, without any need for a special week to raise awareness for it.
“However, urbanisation, globalisation, work-life imbalance, fear of breast sagging, etc. have reduced the frequency and duration of breastfeeding. Normally, mothers derive joy from suckling their babies and their commitment to this noble duty is high.”
He advised breastfeeding mothers to cultivate the habit of frequently taking clean water to increase the flow of breast milk. He also advised the consumption of natural foods, to increase the quality and quantity of breast milk, as well as intake of nutritional supplements, like Cestra Pre-natal® which contains all the micronutrients, vitamins and other requirements in the right types, quantity and combinations for optimal growth and wellbeing of mother and child.
He said Cestra Pre-natal®, from the stable of Fidson Healthcare Plc provides needed energy to the mother and adequate micronutrients to the child in the first few years of life. Cestra Pre Natal® is purposefully formulated to prepare women for pregnancy and promotes health, growth and development of the baby. It provides the special nutritional requirements of the woman and the baby throughout the pregnancy and after delivery. It supports the immune system, energy levels, and vitality during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Fidson’s support of the WHO campaign on breastfeeding is a demonstration of the company’s concern for the health and wellbeing of every Nigerian mother and child. This is in line with its corporate brand proposition of adding value to life, as expressed in its slogan.