Succor For Breastfeeding Mothers After The Guardian Correspondent’s report.
Succor has come the way of some breastfeeding mothers in Rivers State after The Guardian Correspondent in the State, Ann Godwin reported about their pathetic conditions amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
The impositions of various restrictions by the State Government is said to have worsened the conditions of the vulnerable group as most of them only eat when their husband’s or them go out daily; hence the lockdown affected their sources of income and means of survival.
Some of them were reported to have stayed for days without foods, some took garri flakes while some drank only water which led to fainting.
It was indeed a momentous occasion at St. Andrews Primary School Diobu PortHarourt, yesterday when food items ranging from rice, garri, indomie, plantain, groundnut oil, soap were given to the women to assuage their sufferings.
The Guardian’s Correspondent, some non-governmental organizations including Society for Women and Youths Affairs, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, sent in some of the food items after reading the report.
Speaking with newsmen, Godwin said, ” I feel elated today seeing that succor has come to these women because while I was transcribing and putting the reports together, I broke down emotionally and mentally listening to the voices of these women, the intellectual flow stopped, I couldn’t just flow due to the depth of pains, sufferings these women were going through”
“I couldn’t hold back my tears, I had to pause, wiped the tears even the ones that dropped on my laptop, I realized that the responses to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic increased the challenges of the vulnerable group especially, the breastfeeding mothers, as a mother, I am aware that breast milk provides vital nutrients that supports the baby’s physical and cognitive development”
“And when a mother breastfeeds without eating, it affects the mother’s health as well as the baby, so while writing their stories, I vowed that I will surely return to touch their lives and put smiles on their faces, so I am glad today, that, that prayer has been answered’
I, however use this opportunity to call on the governments, Federal State and Local government to identify more of the breastfeeding mothers and reach out to them, they are all over the streets, they need help, they need assistance and encouragement even as we pray for a quick end to this dreaded pandemic to enable citizens return to normal life. I also expressed thanks to the Wole Soyinka Centre For Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) COVID-19 check project for facilitating the report.
Some of the breastfeeding mothers told correspondent Anita Ogona that they have passed through untold hardship and are unable to feed properly due to non-availability of food stuffs and needed to breastfeed their infant children
Mrs Igwe joy said I am a school teacher, teaching a small private school, due to this covid19, the School management stopped paying us, my husband operates a shop at mile one but since the lockdown, it has been very difficult to feed, I have 3children already and nursing this four-month old baby, no food for me to eat sometimes I go to bed hungry and will have to feed my baby throughout the night when I wake up in the morning I am weak’ and feeling dizzy
23 years old glory Philip says she got married early to escape poverty haven lost both parents at an early age. She said my husband is a barber and they have closed his shop. No way for me to feed and all so feed my baby, if not because I don’t have food in the house my baby is six months old and can eat noddle’s but nothing to give him, so I feed him with breast Milk even though I know that no good thing is coming out of the breast milk because most times I soak Garri and sugar then I have to keep breastfeeding him more because he is not satisfied.
Mrs Ifeoma Obed says my own husband is causal labourers, and since the lockdown have not been able to go out and bring the daily income , for me, I sell Ugu by the road side and the last time I made a journey to the bush market to buy vegetables to sell on our way the soldier’s chased us, destroyed all our goods and I lost my purse and the little money I had on me, since then I have not been able to do anything and my husband too is at home, we don’t have any savings account but this income, feeding my children is so hard, look at my baby she is losing weight, no food nothing at all to feed with, I thank this wonderful woman for remembering us, we are indeed very grateful, this foodstuff will take us for some time hoping that the government will ease up this lockdown