The Gombe State Commissioner for Health, Dr Kennedy Ishaya, says the ministry is intensifying campaign to encourage mothers in the state to breastfeed their babies.
Ishaya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Friday that asides from protecting the babies from infections, exclusive breastfeeding was also a natural form of child spacing.
“ It serves as a natural form of child spacing; it is unlikely for a woman who is breastfeeding a baby exclusively to take in before 18 months from the day of delivery.
“A woman on exclusive breast feeding will have her ovulation delayed. She cannot get pregnant if she does not ovulate because not having ovulation means not having your period.
“ Another great benefit of exclusive breastfeeding is that the child will get all the nutrients he requires and there will not be chances of childhood diarrhea and other related diseases.
“The first milk that comes from the breast is called colostrum; it gives baby immunity against many infections,’’ he explained.
The commissioner appealed to religious and traditional leaders to explain to the people the need to exclusively breastfeed their babies.
“We need them to join us to encourage people to practise exclusive breastfeeding.
“We have confidence in them; we are sure we will get the desired result if they participate in the campaign,’’ he said.
Ishaya advised health workers who were in the habit of leaking patients’ medical information to change their attitude.
According to him, if such people failed to stop the act, they will face disciplinary actions in accordance with the civil service rule.
“Those of them who are disclosing their clients’ diagnoses should stop it or else they face the wrath of the civil service law.
“Also, those taking money from patients in any guise will be dealt with appropriately,” he warned