The Oyo State government has achieved a significant milestone in exclusive breastfeeding practice by women of childbearing age, according to the Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) Project. ANRiN Oyo Project Implementation Unit’s Project Coordinator, Dr Khadijah Alarape, revealed that the state government had achieved 58.7% in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding. This achievement was disclosed at a stakeholders’ meeting of the State Committee on Food and Nutrition organised by ANRiN Project in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“The increase in the percentage of exclusive breastfeeding shows that pregnant and lactating women are now more aware of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the general well-being of their children,” Dr Alarape said. “The state governor should be thanked for his help at granting six-month maternity leave for our mothers. This has really helped. This can be confirmed from available statistics on nutrition indices that the state is doing well as far as exclusive breastfeeding is concerned, although we need to work more on the rate of stunting in the state.”
Dr Alarape appreciated the state governor, Seyi Makinde, for his support in increasing the maternity leave for pregnant women from three months to six months and ANRiN for implementing seven basic packages of nutritional services across the 33 local government areas of the state. She reiterated ANRiN’s efforts in providing cost-effective nutritional services to pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, as well as children under five across the state.
“ANRiN’s effort at providing cost-effective nutritional services to pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, as well as children under-5 across the state has been commendable,” Dr Alarape added. “Two non-state actors, Solina Health Ltd and Save the Children, are also currently working in communities across the state, giving pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children Under-5 basic packages of nutritional services.”
This milestone achievement by the Oyo State government is a testament to the success of the government’s efforts in the area of healthcare and nutrition. The state government has been working tirelessly to combat malnutrition and promote healthy living among its citizens. “The meeting was a statutory meeting held quarterly to review nutritional interventions and address malnutrition in the state,” said the Director of Development Partners at the Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mr Moruf Oyetunji.
Governor Seyi Makinde’s decision to increase maternity leave for pregnant women from three to six months has had a positive impact on the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the state. The governor’s policy has given mothers the opportunity to bond with their newborns and ensure their babies get the necessary nutrition for healthy growth.
The ANRiN Project is a World Bank-funded programme designed to address malnutrition in Nigeria. The project’s focus is on increasing access to and the uptake of nutrition and basic health services by women and children under five. ANRiN’s implementation of seven basic packages of nutritional services across the 33 local government areas of the state has contributed significantly to the achievement of this milestone.
In conclusion, the achievement of a 58.7% rate of exclusive breastfeeding in Oyo State is a significant milestone and a testament to the success of the state government’s efforts to promote healthy living among its citizens. The increase in the percentage of exclusive breastfeeding shows that pregnant and lactating women are now more aware of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the general well-being of their children. The state government’s commitment to improving the healthcare and nutritional status of its citizens is commendable, and we hope that this success will serve as a model for other states in Nigeria.