The mental, social, emotional and cognitive development of infants depends on a loving bond with their primary caregiver, usually parents.
This is supported by increasing evidence from various studies that point to neglect, parental inconsistency and a lack of love as factors that can lead to long-term mental health problems, as well as to reduced overall potential and happiness.
It is in promoting this development among Nigerian parents and their children that Avon Health Management Organisation (HMO) recently organised its second baby photo contest tagged #AvonBaby2019, which is an avenue to encourage immunisation, engender bonding between mothers, fathers and their babies, while also rewarding successful participants with gifts.
Held on its social media platforms, parents were encouraged to post pictures of their babies with creative profiles depicting what makes their little ones unique, in the same way one would put together a resumé. The contest was warmly received on social media as it reached over a million users in less than a week, with participants praised for engaging in the initiative.
A mother of the first prize winner, Busola Salami, said: “I’m beyond thrilled that my baby, Zahra already has a title to her name as “Avon Baby of the Year 2019” at just four months. Just imagine it! My sincere appreciation goes to the Avon HMO team for this initiative and I’m definitely framing this so that she would see it when she’s older.”
Fathers were not exempt from participating. For John Layefa, it was exciting to have his baby boy, Ayomikun Samuel John, emerge as second runner up after putting a lot of effort into creating an eye-catching profile for him.
“As parents of Ayomikun, we really appreciate Avon HMO for crowning our son as the second runner of the contest. We were expecting him to win but as the competition got more intense at some point, we almost gave up but seeing him win a prize really means a lot to us and we will always love the Avon brand for this.”
According to the Chairperson of Avon HMO and Gavi Alliance Champion for Immunisation in Nigeria, Dr Awele Elumelu, the key aim is to raise awareness for the health benefits of vaccination as well as the role of parents in the overall wellbeing of their babies.
“Infancy is a crucial time for brain development because by the age of three, a child’s brain has reached almost 90 per cent of its adult size. It is important for babies and their parents to be given the necessary support during this time to promote attachment. Without a good initial bond, children are less likely to grow up to become happy, independent and resilient adults.”
For the Chief Executive Officer, Avon HMO, Adesimbo Ukiri, increased participation in this year’s contest was a pointer to the brand’s growth and relevance as a leading brand in the country’s healthcare space.
“When we launched the Avon Baby Campaign in 2018, we were not sure of what to expect. However, its success encouraged us to make it an annual contest and the 2019 edition turned out even better than the first one we had. At Avon HMO, we remain committed to maternal and infant health and all our family plans provide cover for antenatal services, delivery and immunisations.
“Once you are subscribed to an Avon HMO health plan, their preventive and wellness initiatives help ensure you attain and remain at optimal health. Should you fall ill, suffer an accident or are diagnosed with a health condition, Avon HMO steps in to coordinate your care and pay the bills; ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services that will enable you to get better.”
Licensed in 2012, Avon Healthcare Ltd (Avon HMO) is a leading health management organisation providing healthcare plans and other healthcare services to all Nigerians – individuals, families, groups, companies and communities.
Avon HMO is a part of the Heirs Holdings Group, an African proprietary investment company driving Africa’s development through long-term investments in key sectors.