Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health will launch a major mass communication campaign to increase awareness of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for infants in their first 6 months in May by an array of partners, including Alive & Thrive (A&T).
The “Start Strong/Zero Water” campaign focuses on increasing early initiation of breastfeeding (within 1 hour of birth) and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and particularly the elimination of water during this period. The national campaign will also advocate for greater enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code) and other ways to improve the enabling environment for breastfeeding. After conferring with the IYCF SBCC working group including national partners from USAID, Action Contre la Faim, Helen Keller International, Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, and key departments of the government, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health decided to adapt the “Start Strong” branding for national level efforts to promote infant and young child feeding (IYCF). “Start Strong” was identified during the development of A&T’s IYCF mass media campaign in Lagos and Kaduna states. The national “Zero Water” campaign supported by a consortium of partners led by UNICEF will be renamed “Start Strong/Zero Water.”