Wife of the Rivers State governor, Lady Valerie Siminalayi Fubara, has emphasized the crucial role of mothers in safeguarding the health and well-being of their children, particularly through exclusive breastfeeding and early detection of malnutrition.
Prioritizing Early Intervention and Breastfeeding
Lady Fubara’s call to action came during the official opening of the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (I.M.A.M) Sites in Port Harcourt, a collaborative effort between the state Ministry of Health and Kelsey Harrison Hospital.
These six dedicated sites cater specifically to children under five diagnosed with malnutrition, providing comprehensive treatment and long-term interventions like nutrition education, infant and young child feeding, and food security.
The First Lady stressed the importance of mothers’ vigilance in recognizing malnutrition symptoms and promptly seeking medical attention.
“Such vigilance will help you in seeking appropriate medical attention to addressing identified issues that threaten the health of your children,” she advised.
Exclusive Breastfeeding: Nature’s Defense System
Lady Fubara, designated the state’s “Nutrition Champion” for her unwavering commitment to combating malnutrition, passionately advocated for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of a child’s life.
“I know that there are important antibodies in the breast milk that are vital to the child, which cannot be got from many food. Once the child gets them, it will be easy to fight against diseases. Take every other medical advice to you seriously,” she explained.
A Multi-pronged Approach to Eradicating Malnutrition
The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Adaeze Oreh, elaborated on the comprehensive strategy adopted by the I.M.A.M. Sites.
“These sites will assist in fostering appropriate management and treatment of malnutrition with a variety of other long term intervention like nutrition education, infant and young child feeding and food security,” she stated.