My Husband Encouraged Me To Reach For The Stars - Prof. Omobola - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

My Husband Encouraged Me To Reach For The Stars - Prof. Omobola

• Prof. Omobola 




....Says Woking Mothers Need Legal Backing For Exclusive Breastfeeding

... Urges FG, National Assembly to initiate legal framework on National Breastfeeding Policy


From Heritage Odih,
 Abeokuta


A mother, wife and expert in Nutritional Biochemistry, Prof. Omobola Abioye Ogundahunsi took time to eulogize her husband; Olumide, for supporting and encouraging her to reach the peak of her career in the academia.

Prof. Omobola stunned her audience and members of the university community when she almost gave way to tears, recalling in disbelieve that a chance meeting between her and her husband four decades ago at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, would morph into a lifetime partnership.

With a voice that evokes humility, sincerity and gratitude,  she described her husband as a "mentor," who gave her all the support and encouragement to reach the peak of her career in the academic world.

The Professor made this known in her acknowledgement while delivering the 93rd inaugural lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, titled: "To Eat Or Not To Eat ? That Is The Question" at the institution's permanent site, Ago - Iwoye, on Tuesday.

She specially identified her husband and many other people whom she noted, had facilitated her journey and career progression, thanking them for their support.

She said:"To my husband, Olumide: Little did I know that we will be lifelong partners in academia when we met 40 years ago in a Zoology Class at the University of Ibadan. 

"I am thankful that beyond our marriage, I have you as a friend, my Barnabas and mentor. You believe that a woman can aspire to the peak of her career and you encouraged me to reach for the stars!"

She also lauded her daughters - Olaoluwa Oladipupo and Ibukunoluwa Ajayi "for being good always and sourced of Joy"  and her sons - Adeolu Israel Oladipupo and Segun Ajayi "for being true Christian men and harbingers of mirth."

The Professor, however, called on the Federal Government and National Assembly to come out with a legal framework towards effective implementation of the National Breastfeeding policy on exclusive breastfeeding.

Mrs. Ogundahunsi said there was the need for an enabling law in place to protect and support working mothers from their employers to enable them devote time and attention to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life of their babies.

The Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry who urged the FG and the nation's lawmakers to come out with legal framework on exclusive Breastfeeding, said that with appropriate law put in place, maternity leave could be extended to six months in order to help working women achieve exclusive breastfeeding.


She noted that exclusive breastfeeding can sustain a child's growth for the first six months of life even when the mother is marginally malnourished.

She said: "We should continue to encourage our mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months and non - exclusively up to two years as evidence abound that breastfeeding can sustain a child growth for the first six months of life even when the mother is marginally malnourished.

"Maternity leave could be extended to six months in order to help women achieve exclusive breastfeeding. A legal framework to manage the implementation of the National Breastfeeding policy is achieved."

Prof. Ogundahunsi, however, identified Non - communicable Diseases (NCDs)such as cancer, diabetes, mental and neurological disorders, obesity, asthma, kidney disease, chronic lung diseases among others as growing health concern in the country.

She said while there were non - modifiable risk factors to the development of NCDs such as genetics, ethnicity, age and sex, she added that it has been established that dietary adjustments not only influence individual's current health, but also determine whether individual could develop one or more of the NCDs.

She, therefore, recommended that bitter kola, ginger, garlic and alligator pepper should form parts of one's regular diet to either prevent NCDs or as panacea in the management of any of it.











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