UNICEF solicits media support on reportage of preventable child death

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) solicits media support on accurate and informed report on preventable child death in Nigeria.

UNICEF’s Media Officer, Blessing Ejiofor, made the request at a two-day media dialogue in Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria.

The theme is: “Improving Health Outcomes for Children in Oyo State through Accelerated Action for Impact.’’

Ejiofor said that dialogue was meant to provide the media with the knowledge and materials to support informed media advocacy on preventable child death.

“Accelerated action impact initiative, as a game changer, to fast-track reduction of preventable child death in Nigeria,’’ she said.

Ejiofor said the expected outcome of the programme was to see media producing, publishing and airing accurate and informed stories and reports on preventable child death.

The UNICEF’s Media Officer said the essence was to draw the government’s attention to the need to scale up action in order to reverse the ugly trend of death of newborn.

In her presentations, Dr Adebola Hassan, UNICEF Health Specialist, Akure Field Office, said that many newborns died as a result of ill health, due to lack of proper breastfeeding at birth.

Also, Dr Khadijat Alarape, the Oyo State Nutrition Officer, said lack of proper breastfeeding had led to the death of many newborns.

Alarape said many mothers failed to breastfeed their children immediately after birth, which she said led to the death of many newborns in the state.

She said rather than give breast milk to newborns, many mothers were involved in giving concoctions or herbs to their babies at birth.

Alarape said that some mothers, due to believe that their nipples would ‘sag’ if they breastfeed, had also neglected breastfeeding.

She, however, called on mothers to always ensure proper breastfeeding of their newborns through proper placement of the child mouth on the ‘AREOLA ‘ (the dark part of breast) and not the nipples as it would enable the baby to suck properly.

Bilkisu Pai