UNICEF: Mothers’ Educational Level Affects Exclusive Breastfeeding


By Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

‎The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that the level of a mother’s education will affect the adherence to exclusive breastfeeding either negatively or positively, as education is needed in the understanding of the importance of exclusively breastfeeding a child and the gains in the child’s cognitive abilities.

This was revealed by UNICEF’s specialist in the field of monitoring and evaluation, Ms. Maureen Zubie-Okolo in Enugu, during a two-day media dialogue on data-driven reporting using the new Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data.

She said there has been a slight improvement in the areas of exclusive breastfeeding for six months from 15.1 per cent to 23.7 per cent and encouraged mothers to open their minds towards any form of education which she said will have huge impacts on the life of a child.

She said research disclosed that “Children under-five exclusively breast-fed by mothers’ education‎ has 19.6 per cent for no form of education at all, 16.9 per cent for non- formal education, 20.8 per cent for primary level and 30.6 per cent and 41.0 per cent for secondary and post- secondary levels respectively.”

In the same vein, she stated that primary and secondary school entry into grade one has decreased from 70.1 per cent to 60.9 per cent and from 54.2 per cent to 46.9 per cent respectively.

Also, primary school completion rate reduced from 85.5 per cent to 63 per cent, while the transition rate to secondary school also reduced from 74 per cent to 49 per cent. She added that “more than a quarter of primary and secondary school age children are out of school to the rate of 27 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.”

The data collection was between September 2016 and January 2017 from 33, 901 households in 2,239 enumeration areas across the 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.