The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, has launched the National Zero Water Campaign towards reducing stunting and severe acute malnutrition in the country.
Buhari, represented by Dr Mairo Al-Makura, the wife of former Nasarawa State governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, said the campaign would go a long way in improving the nutritional indices in Nigeria.
She said the campaign was aimed at changing the narratives of nutrition in Nigeria and pushes the exclusive breastfeeding rate to above 50 per cent which was the global target.
She lamented that Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent among children under five.
She added that an estimated two and a half million of our children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), but only two out of 10 children affected are currently reached with treatment.
Buhari said there were lots of benefits of breastfeeding for the mother, child, family, community and indeed for our nation.
According to her, breastfeeding specifically contributes to the health and well-being of mother and child.
“It helps in child spacing and it is also known to contribute to reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers. While it is a secure way of feeding, it is safe for the environment.
“Apart from the fact that it reduces infant mortality due to childhood diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, it also creates bond between the mother and child,’’ she said.
The first lady affirmed her commitment to align with all relevant stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the Zero Water Campaign through her Future Assured Programme.