Cleric recommends two years exclusive breastfeeding for babies

An Islamic cleric, Tajudeen Adebayo, on Tuesday, advised mothers to make up their minds to breastfeed their babies exclusively, describing it as the best gift a mother could give to her baby. Mr Adebayo, the chief imam of the central mosque in Falomo, Lagos, also urged breastfeeding for up to two years.

He said this in an interview in Lagos.

The cleric reacted to Nigeria’s poor ranking in the child nutrition index.

Data recently released by UNICEF showed that Nigeria ranked number one in Africa and number two globally in terms of the number of malnourished children.

Mr Adebayo said that exclusive breastfeeding is the best diet and immunity a mother could give her baby.

The chief imam said, “The best immunity is to exclusively breastfeed a baby. While policymakers in the health sector recommend six months’ exclusive breastfeeding, Allah recommends two years.

“Mothers who complete the circle will see the difference in the health and intelligence quotients of their children compared to those of babies nurtured with artificial foods.

“Apart from that, the compassion and love such children have for their parents are usually stronger.”

Bishop Joseph Ojo, the general overseer of the Calvary Kingdom Church in Okokomaiko, Lagos, said there was a need to build children’s immunity with a balanced diet and vaccination.

Mr Ojo said governments should educate parents on the national programme on immunisation to enable them to present their children for immunisation.

He said some parents and caregivers withheld their children from routine immunisation due to poor understanding.

He added that some withheld their children due to doubts.

“There are too many fake things going on these days,” he said.

The chief imam of the Lagos State University, Amidu Sanni, said it was a civic and moral obligation to encourage members of the public to immunise their children against killer diseases.

Mr Sanni said that lifestyles had weakened body immunity, making vaccination necessary. 

(NAN)


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