To commemorate the World Breastfeeding Week 2016, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), an NGO dedicated to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in Nigeria, has launched 10 breastfeeding initiative steps for both mothers and healthcare givers.
The 10 steps were launched by the Foundation’s MamaCare Midwives in some parts of the country, namely; Lagos and Kwara States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, during their MamaCare Classes, as part of its activities to celebrate the World Breastfeeding Week.
In line with the celebrations, the Founder and President of the Foundation, Mrs Toyin Saraki, chaired the Civil Society for Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) Stakeholders’ meeting on the 3rd of August in Abuja, where she spoke on the importance of breastfeeding and nutrition in the life of every child.
Mrs Saraki went on to pay a visit to Dutse-Alhaji Primary Health Centre, where the MamaCare Ante-natal class was holding, with expectant mothers receiving health education.
During her visit to the health centre, she encouraged the women; emphasized on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding; and also went on to announce a new scheme that will be introduced for the benefit of mothers and children.
The purpose of the scheme is to assist expectant mothers save for the First 1000Days of their child, from conception.
Also, the Country Director of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, attended the Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Technical Workshop on the Nigeria Breast milk Substitutes (BMS) Code, as organised by Alive & Thrive, FH 360, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
To round off celebrations of the World Breastfeeding Week, Mrs Saraki, on Thursday 4th of August, 2016 featured in #UnaWakeUpShow, a Radio program on Wazobia FM which was anchored by On-Air-Personalities, Bigmo and Nyanga.
Mrs Saraki took time to speak on the Ten (10) Breastfeeding Initiative steps for both mothers and healthcare givers, advising mothers on the DOs and DON’Ts of breastfeeding practices. These steps included:
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Mothers
- Lubricating the nipple, frequently pulling out the nipple to promote prominence and enabling baby to latch properly
- Regular cleansing of the nipple and the areola in preparation for breastfeeding
- Mothers should initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth
- Wear a nursing bra that is a size larger; avoid underwire bras and wear clothes that enable you flip your bra under, not over your breast while nursing
- Make sure the baby is well positioned at the breast; latch on correctly and breastfeed on demand
- Change your baby’s feeding position but ensure baby finish feeding at one breast before switching in order to empty the breast sufficiently
- Vary nursing positions throughout the day, at least once during each feed; position the baby so that the jaw points towards the plug.
- Mothers should sit comfortably, and take the baby to the breast and not the breast to the baby to avoid back pain while breastfeeding
- Wash your hands after each of these procedures: before touching your breasts, diaper change, using the bathroom – and change bra pads frequently
- Mothers should express breast milk, and preserve for not more than eight hours in order to maintain lactation even when they are separated from their infants.
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Medical Providers
Every facility that provides maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
- Ensure newborn infants have no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Rooming-in: Allow mothers and infants remain together – 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeed infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
The WBFA Founder also took out time to speak on domestic violence. “The strength of a man should not be measured by the weakness, or submissiveness of a woman; we are all partners, whose strengths, and weaknesses should holistically become a stronger unit, together,” she said.
Government Must Make Nigeria Attractive to Doctors—NMA
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said that the main reason why many doctors flee from the country for greener pastures elsewhere is as a result of poor remuneration and welfare.
The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Aniekeme Uwah, said this on Monday during the 2021 Correspondents’ Chapel Week, adding that the increasing human capital flight of doctors from the country will potentially affect the health sector.
Speaking in Uyo on the theme Post-COVID-19 Economy and the Challenges to Ethical Journalism Ahead of 2023 Elections, Mr Uwah said, “So many of our colleagues in Nigeria have moved for greener pasture abroad, and if this is not tackled, the health sector will be highly affected.”
He added that the only way to ensure that medical practitioners stay and practice in their country is to make them see their nation as a place of greener pasture which the government at all levels can actualize by addressing the issue of poor welfare and remuneration.
“The only solution is for government to make adequate budgetary provisions so that doctors and other health workers will be motivated and well remunerated,” Mr Uwar said.
On the other hand, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health Institutions, Mr Paschal Chigozie Obi, has said that little could be done to discourage doctors and health practitioners from fleeing the country.
Mr Obi, who said this on Monday during an oversight visit by the House committee to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, explained that, “We held several meetings with the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) and we hands-off when the matter went to court.
“We can’t do anything until the matter is withdrawn from the court because anything we do will be sub judice. So, we can’t interfere in the court process until it is settled. Right now, we are handicapped.”
As the strike action embarked upon by members of NARD lingers, Mr Obi appealed that committee, in collaboration with the executive arm, is doing its best to ensure a reasonable condition for medical professionals in the country.
Oyo Assures Residents of COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy, Safety
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Residents of Oyo State have been assured of the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, urging them to take the jab to keep the state safe from the virus.
Last week, the state government, through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, collaborated with UNICEF to create awareness on the COVID-19 vaccine (COVAX) among residents in the state.
The UNICEF C4D Specialists, Akure Office, Mrs Aderonke Akinola-Akinwole, stated that there was the need to educate and clear all doubts about the efficacy and safety of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by the people of the state especially those living at the grassroots.
According to her, media practitioners have a huge role to play in demystifying misconceptions and rumours about COVAX in the grassroots.
She dismissed rumours that the vaccine causes early death, sterility or that it is a scam, adding that residents should shun all unfounded assumptions about the vaccine.
The UNICEF representative further explained that the vaccine is safe, effective and free of charge, as it helps reduce the effects of COVID-19 if contracted at all after the complete vaccination.
Earlier, the Director of UNICEF Programs in the ministry, Mr Rotimi Babalola, in his welcome address stated that the meeting with media practitioners and information officers from all the 33 LGA’s is important at this time, due to the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
He noted that the Delta variant of the pandemic is deadlier than the previous COVID-19 hence the need to raise awareness among citizens who may have let down their guards concerning the COVID-19 protocols.
Mr Babalola stressed that the vaccine is available at primary health care centres in the state at no cost to prevent the spread of the virus especially at the time that school’s resumption is in the offing.
Court Orders Resident Doctors to Suspend Strike
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
**As NARD Appeals Ruling
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend their strike action and go back to work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The order followed a suit filed by the federal government to challenge the legality of the industrial action, which commenced August 2.
Justice Bashar Alkali, while ruling on the matter on Friday, also asked all parties to return to the negotiating table.
Counsel to the federal government, Mr Tochukwu Maduka, alongside the Federal Ministry of Health, noted that resident doctors embarked on the strike action, without proper notice as provided by the extant strike laws.
According to Mr Maduka, resident doctors are persons who provide essential services and cannot embark on strike as continuing to do so will pile hardship on citizens.
He also prayed the court to compel the members of NARD nationwide to return to their duty posts, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Opposing this, the counsel to the resident doctors, Mr Femi Aborishade, urged the court to discountenance their application, arguing that the life of a medical doctor was not less useful than the life of an average human being.
He further pointed out that justice must be balanced, not just to the government, but also to the doctors who are the field marshals in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, both parties had told the vacation judge, Mr Alkali, at the industrial court on September 15 that they were set to negotiate and give the court an update by Friday.
But the process of negotiation and possible settlement failed.
Speaking shortly after the court ruling, however, the counsel to the doctors said he would advise them accordingly and show them other options of appeal, but they would not disobey court orders.
Meanwhile, the latest reports indicated that the doctors have filed an appeal to upturn today’s ruling, emphasising that they were not given a fair hearing. The association directed its members to continue with the industrial action.
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