Infants breastfed had a decreased risk of atopic dermatitis and gastroenteritis and possessed a higher IQ later in life
A nutrition manager with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kano, Elhaji Diop, says breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Mr Diop disclosed this at the ‘Stronger with Breast Milk Only’ launch as part of the celebration of 2022 World Breastfeeding Week held in the Mashi local government area of Katsina.
According to him, it also decreases the risk of ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes mellitus.
He stressed that infants breastfed had a decreased risk of atopic dermatitis and gastroenteritis and possessed a higher IQ later in life.
“Despite the compelling evidence that breastfeeding contributes substantially to improve child survival and development, key messages have not reached communities,” said Mr Diop. “And the overall nutritional status of children in Katsina state has only slightly improved over the last decade.”
He added that breastfeeding benefitted the state by helping lower health care costs, increase educational attainment and ultimately boost productivity.
“There is evidence today that every N1,000 invested in supporting optimal breastfeeding can generate an estimated N35,000 in economic returns for Nigeria,” Mr Diop pointed out. “There is no doubt that breastfeeding is essential to the attainment of the SDGs in the country, and the Nigerian children hold the great future of this country.”