NASS to review health insurance bill to incorporate exclusive breastfeeding

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By Joke Falaju, Abuja

Nigerian Senate Committee Chairman on Health Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe has disclosed plans by the National Assembly to review the National Health Insurance Authority Bill.

Oloriegbe said the plan is to in-cooperate exclusive breastfeeding and create an enabling environment for exclusive breastfeeding and child nutrition in the country.

The National Health Insurance Authority Bill for an act has passed the third reading on the floor of the Senate and currently at the House of representative for its concurrence and if assented to by the President would go a long way in improving child nutrition in the country, Oloriegbe stated.

The chairman, during a Webinar hosted by the Save the Children International, also disclosed that 6 months maternity leave bill is currently before the Senate committee on health which would among others drive innovative approach that will promote breastfeeding in Nigeria.

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“The bill will also encourage and support working class women to stay at home and exclusively breastfeed there children for the first 6months of life and till the child clock 2years. The bill will make for breastfeeding break and space in work places,” he said.

“It will also provide for the prioritization of breastfeeding mothers and children at health facilities and other public service delivery point and provide activity support educatiin in nutrition for breastfeeding mothers including their support.”

Oloriegbe maintained that the promotiion of breastfeeding is an investment in human capital and the health of the planet, he stressed the need for concerted effort by government, health care providers, religious and traditional institutions, civil societies and the academia to promote and support breastfeeding which would have positive impact on this part of our planet.

Also Save the Children Programme Development and quality Director Shannon Ward lamented that despite the crucial nature of exclusive breastfeeding to babies health and growth, in Nigeria 1 out of 3 child benefits from exclusive breastfeeding and initiation of breastfeeding is not widely practiced.

This year’s world breastfeeding week with the theme innovative strategies for improving breastfeeding” is bringing our attention to the fact that breastfeeding also protect the planet at a time when there are climate change and environmental degradation which are part of some of the most urgent challenges in our world.

She pointed out that In the modern life system and eating habit contributes substantially to climate degradation but we can reduce our carbon and ecological footprints starting with how we feed our baby adding that SCI has been supporting Nigeria’s effort to promote and protect breastfeeding for several years . We have implemented breastfeeding, promotional skills and saw positive changes. .

“Since then, breastfeeding was integrated into our nutritional programs and health , security and child protection programs. We are committed to work with effort of Nigeria government for mothers to be supported in breastfeeding to contribute to the earlier planent.”

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