In a way of protecting people from possible outbreak of the pandemic Ebola disease, Abia State Government says it has designated some hospital wards across the state to handle patients with symptoms related to the ailment.
Fielding questions from journalists yesterday in Umuahia at the commencement of this year’s World breastfeeding week, Commissioner for Health, Okechukwu Ogah, said the Ministry had put all hospitals in the state on red alert over the deadly disease.
He said although no case of Ebola had been reported in the state, the adminsitration was not leaving anything to chance as it had also commenced intensive public sensitisation on both the dangers and preventive measures to keep the disease off the shores of the state.
Ogah appealed to residents not to panic but watch out for the symptoms of the ailment and promptly report any case of such for rapid intervention to prevent escalation.
On breast-feeding week, Ogah encouraged nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breast feeding considering its inestimable benefits both to the child and the mother.
According to him, breast feeding has remained a tested child survival strategy recommended by the World Health Organisation, adding that it also cements the bond between mother and child.
He said, “Breast feeding is the best for every child because it boosts immunity, reduces the mothers’s risk of breast cancer, and serves as natural family plan as a lactating mother scarcely takes in.”
Maintaining that breast feeding was the most effective way of combating child mortality, Ogah called on nursing mothers to embrace the practice.
He faulted the erroneous claims by some misinformed nursing mothers who abstain from the practice on the false assumption that it causes sagging of breasts, maintaining that the gains of breast feeding are globally incontrovertible.
He said Abia had recorded 37 per cent success on exclusive breast feeding , two per cent increase from last year’s 35 percent, hinting that 80 per cent was its 2015 target.