ANRiN project to revitalise baby-friendly initiative in 6 Kaduna LGAs – Official
By: Femi Mustapha
The World Bank-supported Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project is supporting the revitalisation of Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State.
The Project Manager, Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris, stated this yesterday in Zaria , during a three-day training of healthcare workers on breastfeeding and lactation management.
Muhammad-Idris explained that the BFI, which has hospital, community and workplace components was designed to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding practices in line with WHO’s recommendations.
She said that the revitalisation of the BFI is very important because the practice goes a long way in enhancing breastfeeding practices, particularly in the first few days of a child’s life.
“When a new baby is delivered, it is expected that the child will be exclusively breastfed within the first six months of the child’s life.
“This goes a long way in positioning the child to thrive and develop to his or her full potential without the risk of contracting infection or even getting malnourished.
“Breastfeeding is a very vital practice and a cost-effective step that helps in reducing new-born death as well as child mortality.
“It also enhances the survival of children so that they will grow to become adults that are very productive to themselves, their communities and the country,” she said.
The Project Manager said that 36 health workers being trained are made up of nurses, nutrition focal persons or officers, mid-wives, and Medical Directors.
She said the healthcare workers were drawn from 24 health facilities in six local government areas, three Primary Health Care centres and one General Hospitals from each LGA.
“We have 36 participants currently being trained, but in all, a total of 114 healthcare workers will be trained, 19 from each of the LGAs, namely Makarfi, Lere, Igabi, Chikun,Kauru and Jaba.”
She expressed the project’s commitment to support the scaling-up of the BFI to other facilities and LGAs based on available resources.
This, according to her, is in line with the state government’s drive for integration in the delivery of healthcare services.
She explained that the training of the health workers was very important, saying that “when a woman goes to the facility to deliver, the first attempt to breastfeeding starts from the health facility.
“That is where the health workers with the training and the expertise are positioned to support the mother to initiate breastfeeding so that the first breast milk – colostrum is received by the child.
“This will ensure that the child has what it takes to begin the journey of being protected
“Since it starts from the hospital, it is deemed necessary to equip healthcare providers as the first response that provide the necessary information and practically support the mother to breastfeed her baby,” she said.
Earlier, Hajiya Hauwa Usman, Nutrition Specialist, ANRiN, Kaduna Project Implementing Unit, said that the objective of the training was to review the knowledge and skills of key service providers on breastfeeding and lactation management.
Usman added that the training was also to build the capacity of front-line health care service providers to facilitate the reactivation of the BFI concepts and practices in the state health care system.
This, she said, will improve child survival, growth, and development.
“It is also to facilitate the integration of BFI and Community Infant and Young Child Feeding into existing PHC services towards achieving the approved State Strategic and Operational Plan, 2020 to 2024,” she said.