Some health experts have enjoined Nigerian women to adequately breastfeed their babies to prevent frequent visits to the hospital.
The experts advised women of childbearing age to always look for ways to prevent diseases and other health challenges instead of looking for how to cure them.
The experts who are also members of the Health Promotion and Education Alumni Association of the University of Ibadan College of Medicine emphasised that a major way of ensuring a healthy population is to begin early by breastfeeding babies properly, to ensure they are immune to diseases.
At a recent gathering of the association, Dr. Akin Jimoh explained that exclusive breastfeeding will help to prevent diseases and promote good health among children, warning that the use of mosquito nets is another way of preventing the spread of malaria in a community.
He said, “When we say health promotion, it is to safeguard our health and the health of the community. The disease that affects the community is within the community.
“You don’t need to go to the hospital before you prevent some diseases. Before the disease comes, you can prevent them. For people that are complaining of malaria, we need to ask them if they are using mosquito nets. Mosquito nets help to prevent malaria.
“Let us look at breastfeeding, a child that is properly breastfed has chances to be healthier than those that are not properly breastfed. The chances of breastfed babies going to the hospital are reduced compared to those that are not properly breastfed. By properly breastfeeding our children, we are preventing the spread of diseases”.
Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, a cancer survivor and wife of the Ondo State Governor, affirmed that creating awareness about diseases such as cancer was imperative and required funds.
“When I got to Ondo State, there wasn’t anything about cancer under the ministry’s budget. We followed the advocacy up seriously and we got the ministry to create a budget line because if they don’t have a budget line, where are they going to get money?
“That was one of the things we were able to achieve in Ondo State. We made sure that the state Assembly approved the budget for cancer and that has even snowballed into something much greater and bigger because before my husband’s tenure ends, we are bent on presenting a cancer treatment centre for Ondo State people.”
President of Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association, Professor Emmanuel Otolorin, in his remarks called on alumni associations to look back and support their Alma Mata.
He said, “Worldwide, some of the best universities like Yale, Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge are partially supported by their alumni. That is why at this time when the government is unable to appropriately fund medical education in the country, we are talking to ourselves to step in to meet some critical needs.”
HPEAAICM President, Dr Bright Orji, lamented that the number of trained professionals and practitioners at the local, state and federal levels was not enough to take care of the needs of the people in the country.
“We are involved in policy-making, working with the government to ensure that appropriate measures are being taken and put in place to help drive this process. For example, when the bill on the regulation of health promotion was introduced, we worked with so many other associations to make sure it was all-inclusive.”