Foundation plans to sensitise medical directors on child feeding practices

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An NGO, Well Being Foundation Africa (WBFA), says it will engage the medical directors of private health facilities in implementing the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices.

The foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Amy Oyekunle, said on Sunday in Lagos that the NGO would carry out one day sensitisation conference for the medical directors of these facilities.

The Lagos State Ministry of Health had in December 2018 inaugurated the state’s IYCF Media Campaign aimed at promoting optimum nutrition and IYCF practices in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who unveiled the campaign in Lagos, had said that the campaign would also encourage positive attitudinal and behavioural change in IYCF practices.

Oyekunle said that the sensitisation conference was part of the Alive and Thrive (A&T) project.

“The aim of the conference is to engage the medical directors of the private medical facilities where we are implementing the project to get their total support.

“Through this one day orientation, we intend to bridge the gap with the existing facilities that are proving “difficult” to engage.

“With this orientation, we aim to have these facilities to support the project and ensure head of the facility is on board with the programme.

“Part of the project will involve routine mentoring visits by the coaches as well as supportive supervision visits by the project team.

“The facilities engagement will be a continuous one,” the foundation chief executive officer said.

She said that good nutrition, in the first 1,000 days from conception to two years of age, was critical to enable all children to lead healthier and more productive lives.

“WBFA is one of the key implementing partners on A&T Nigeria, currently working with 500 private health facilities across 10 local government areas in Lagos.

“We are working by providing advocacy, capacity building and health promotion in the area of IYCF practices, “ she said.

In her remarks, the Founder, WBFA, Mrs Toyin Saraki, said that the foundation, in collaboration with the health facilities, would transform the indices on IYCF practices in the state by improving practices on early initiation to breastfeeding.

“A&T aims to save lives, prevent illness, stunting and malnutrition, and ensure the healthy growth and development of infants and young children through improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices.

“Also, through a four-pronged approach: policy and advocacy; interpersonal communication and community mobilisation; mass communication, and strategic use of data, “ Saraki said.