Communication for Development (C4D) as an Effective Strategy for Improving Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) Practice
Keywords:Exclusive breastfeeding, Communication, Development, Sustainability, Social transformation
Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) has become the best infant feeding option, recommended by WHO and UNICEF, in 1990 for the prevention of infant mortality and morbidity among developing nations. Optimum breast feeding practice (EBF) means that an infant is fed with only breast milk and no other liquids including water for the first six months of life after which supplementary feed would be introduced while breastfeeding would continue until two years of age. It was observed that despite the numerous benefits derived from EBF practice, optimum breastfeeding practices are not the norm in Nigeria. It has also been discovered that one effective strategy for improving the practice of optimum breastfeeding practices is an approach known as communication for development (C4D) approach. This is an approach that is designed to change behaviours and social norms across levels, and to create a sustainable process of social transformation. This article discusses the C4D approach as an effective strategy for improving EBF Practices in Nigeria. It compares the previous and still used approaches with the C4D approach and presents the key elements in the approach. Finally it presents C4D communication tips for the improvement of EBF practice in Nigeria.