COVID-19: ADVOCACY CENTRE Supports Breastfeeding Mothers with Food items
YOUTHS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY CENTRE (YEAC) IS GLAD TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER AS ONE OF THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT “SENT SOME FOOD ITEMS TO HELP ALLEVIATE THE TRAGIC CONDITIONS OF THE VULNERABLE GROUP” IN SOCIETY ESPECIALLY BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS AS SUCCOUR TO CUSHION THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON INDIGENT FAMILIES IN RIVERS STATE
THE PUBLICATION: Two weeks after The Guardian’s report, breastfeeding mothers get succour in Rivers. By Ann Godwin, PortHarcourt
Ann Godwin (Middle) with some of the breastfeeding mothers shortly after food items was given to them in PortHarcourt. Photo: Ann Godwin
Barely two weeks after The Guardian Newspaper Newspaper reported the pitiable condition of some breastfeeding mothers in Rivers amidst Coronavirus pandemic, succour has come their way. Findings in the report titled, ‘Sad fate of breastfeeding mothers, others during COVID-19 lockdown in Rivers, revealed that the pandemic has increased the challenges of the women as some of them stayed from morning till night without food even after breastfeeding which often led to fainting and sometimes complicated their health challenges.
Some persons who read the report sent messages like, ‘this story breaks my heart, how can these women be reached?
Within the period, good-spirited individuals and non-governmental organizations like the Society for Women and Youths Affairs, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, sent some food items to help alleviate the tragic conditions of the vulnerable group.
Alas, It was an exciting moment for the breastfeeding mothers on Monday as they gathered In front of The Guardian’s Zonal office, opposite St. Andrew Primary School in Mile one Diobu, PortHarcourt to receive food materials from The Guardian’s Correspondent, Mrs Ann Godwin. Some of the food items given to them include; rice, garri, indomie, plantain, groundnut oil, beverages, soap among others
It was another moment of tears but this time, tears of joy as Favour Madu and 12 others took delivery of various foodstuffs to assuage their sufferings. Speaking, Madu recalled, “Since the lockdown, life has become very unbearable for my family. My husband, an artisan at Ikoku market and I had nothing to eat since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began and that affected my breastfeeding.
“But since The Guardian’s Correspondent, Ann Godwin moved from House to House, interviewed us and brought our pathetic situations to the public, we have been receiving help” “As you can see, we are full of joy today having taken delivery of different foodstuffs, this will sustain us for some time but we still need government’s intervention”
Also, Chinyere Asoegbe, said “I am a breastfeeding, I had fainted severally after feeding my baby due to hunger but we are delighted to benefit from this gesture today’ On her part. Mrs Dorathy Uche, said, the swift intervention by the female journalist has indeed brought succour to us.
Similarly, Chioma Bright, said, “As a nursing mother, the lockdown affected me mostly because I have tried many times to breastfeed my baby without seeing from my breast, when I inquired, a nurse near my house said, it was because I was not eating food but today, I am happy because my breast milk would flow and my baby will eat as I eat these foods”
Addressing the women, Godwin said, ” I feel elated today seeing that succour has come to you the breastfeeding mothers because while I was transcribing and putting your stories together, I broke down emotionally and mentally listening to your voices due to the dept of your pains, sufferings you are going through.
“I couldn’t hold back my tears, I had to pause, wipe my tears knowing that the responses to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic increased the challenges of the vulnerable group especially, you the breastfeeding mothers. As a mother, I am aware that breast milk provides vital nutrients that support 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 your stories, I prayed to God to use my story and put smiles on your faces, so I am delighted that, that prayer has been answered.
”I, however, call on the governments, Federal State and Local government to identify more of the breastfeeding mothers and reach out to them because while the donations were on, some others who heard the news trooped out to have a share, assist and encourage them even as I pray for a quick end to this dreaded pandemic to enable citizens return to normal life.
Godwin further thanked the Wole Soyinka Centre For Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) COVID-19 check project for facilitating the earlier report.