COVID-19 Positive Mothers Can Still Breastfeed – UNICEF

A new United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) finding has shown that mothers infected with Coronavirus can breastfeed their babies without infecting them.

The UNICEF Nutrition Team, led by Olumiji Oyedokun, said this while presenting a paper, ” 2021 World Breastfeeding Week, a shared responsibility to support, breastfeeding and promote zero water campaign in Kano”, Wednesday, at Tahir Palace.

He said mothers with COVID-19 can’t transmit the diseases to their children while breastfeeding.

He said, “BreastFeed during COVID-19, the active virus has not been detected in any breastmilk of a Mother, which simply means Child can be BreastFeed even if She is actively infected.”

however, the UNICEF Nutrition Team, said what a mother need is taking precautionary measures of effective wearing of a clinical mask, using gloves and lack of excessive body contact with the child as well as using medically approved substances by the mother.

The UNICEF Field Officer in Kano, Mr. Micheal Banda, urged communities who are ravaged by war and other serious Insecurities to create volunteer breastfeeding groups for abandoned children so as to reduce incidents of child mortality and child malnutrition.

Mr. Banda said children that are exclusively breastfed for two years have a 19 percent chance of survival, adding that if a child is put to breastfeeding within one hour of his birth it reduces malnutrition and child mortality cases and they are protected from infections.

However, the in-charge Field Officer, worried that in Kano, exclusive breastfeeding is only 18 percent this is coupled with poor environmental challenges, resulting in a high rate of child mortality and malnutrition.

He said exclusive breastfeeding from 0-6 and 6-24 months protects children from stunting and reduces possible defects in the educational IQ of a child and brightens his livelihood.

“Exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months and beyond contributes 30 percent of child survival indices and reduces child mortality by 13 percent,” he said.

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