Figures just released at a one-day Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition stakeholders workshop organised by the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, CRSPHCDA in collaboration with FHI 360 Alive & Thrive, show that Bekwarra LGA at 3%, currently has the least number of mothers doing exclusive breastfeeding in the state.
Statistician General of Cross River State, Josephat Ogar, who revealed this information in Calabar, also disclosed that Boki LGA at 25%, Yala and Bakassi LGAs tied at 27%, and Obudu LGA at 28%, make up a list of five local governments in the state with the least exclusive breastfeeding mothers. Obanliku, Akamkpa, Biase, Etung and Obubra LGAs at 67%, 63%, 63%, 62% and 48% respectively, are the top five LGAs in Cross River State with highest number of breastfeeding mothers in the state.
To reverse this trend and upscale the figures statewide, Regina Adie, Director, Nutrition, CRSPHCDA, told stakeholders at the meeting that an Action Plan has been activated and is being vigorously pursued. Part of the Action Plan encourages early initiation of breastfeeding, at least within the first hour after childbirth and exclusively for the next six months. If this is done, she explained, stunting and wasting figures among infants in the state, will improve.
Adie further disclosed that, of the 1039 health workers in the state, only 180 health facility heads have been trained so far. 769 community members across the state have been sensitized and modalities are already in place to push up these numbers, just like meetings with individuals, groups, media discussions etc, are already in place.
Chairman, Cross River State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, present at the occasion, exclusively told www.calitown.com that his Committee is already working to ensure that legislation in the state which proposes five months and two weeks maternity leave, will be activated for the good of breastfeeding mothers and their infants.
Nutrition Consultant, Alive & Thrive, Davis Omotola, sued for the continuous advocacy for improvement of the current maternity leave for nursing mothers, just like he wants breastfeeding breaks allowed in several workplaces in the state.
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