A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) which has revealed that Nigeria is losing 236,000 children annually to lack of investment in breastfeeding every year is a red flag to the country’s future. Listed alongside Nigeria are China, India, Indonesia and Mexico.
According to the report published by WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective (GBC), said, “The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which evaluated 194 nations, found that only 40% of children younger than six months are breastfed exclusively (given nothing but breastmilk) and only 23 countries have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60%,” a statement on the WHO website read.
According to the WHO, investment in breastfeeding is the cheapest a country can embark on as an annual investment of $4.70 per newborn is required to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding among children under six months to 50% by 2025.
This report is coming at a time Nigeria is losing about 5000 thousand doctors to other countries annually when we are yet to meet our 10,605 annual doctor requirements to fix our doctor to patients deficit coupled with poor funding in the country’s health sector.
Nigeria is sure not ready to halt this drift but we can do something and save these 236,000 innocent children.