The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) has shown that out of 1,000 newly born children in Osun State, 56 die within 28 days of their birth.
The data also indicated that 78 out of 1,000 children in the state die before they are 12-month-old. It also revealed that 101 out of 1,000 children in the state die before they are 5-year-old.
The Director, Department of Nutrition Services & Health Education (DNSHE) of Osun Primary Health Care Development Board (OPHCDB), Dr James Oloyede said these death are avoidable if women in the state practice exclusive breastfeeding.
Speaking at a sensitization programme organised for women groups in the state, Oloyede lamented that the figure was unacceptable and that the situation must be death with.
He urged mother in-laws to support their daughter in-laws to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
Oloyede commended the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola for setting up State Steering Committee on breastfeeding. He urged representatives of women groups in the state to carry the message of exclusive breastfeeding to their various communities and become advocates of EBF.
A Public Health Specialist in the Board, Mr Michael Izuchukwu advised women in the state to imbibe exclusive breastfeeding to ensure that their children stay alive in sound health.
He noted that breast milk contains 88.1% water and cautioned nursing mothers to desist from giving water or any liquid to their children in the first six months of his life.
Michael said “The baby only need the Just feed breast milk to make him or her stay alive, healthy and brilliant. Exclusive Breastfeeding has the potential to save more children’s lives than any other preventive intervention. In fact, study has Shawn that an estimated 13% of child deaths could be averted if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfed their infants for the first 6 months of life”
He added “Breastfed children have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children l. An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child.”