In its statement, UNICEF noted that this situation increases the risk of death of the infants by 80 percent.
“Delaying contact between the new born with their mother reduces their survival rate, limits production of maternal milk and reduces chances of exclusive breastfeeding,” UNICEF’s nutrition adviser France Begin said during celebrations to mark the World Breastfeeding Week.
The occasion is marked every year between Aug. 1 to 7 in over 170 countries to promote breastfeeding and improve child nutrition across the world.
“If all babies were exclusively breastfed from the time they are born until the time they reach six months, over 800,000 lives would be saved each year,” she affirmed.
The UNICEF official said newborns represent close to half of the deaths of children aged below five years. “Early breastfeeding is therefore a matter of life and death,” Madam Begin said.
In Chad, nutritional situation of children remains a matter of great concern with estimates of over 410,000 cases of acute malnutrition.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, where deaths of children aged below five years is highest across the world, the rate of early breastfeeding has increased by 10 percent since the year 2000 in East and Southern Africa, but it has stagnated in West and Central Africa, including Chad. Enditem
Source: Xinhua/News Ghana