Some nutrition partners working to improve nutrition in Kaduna State on Tuesday commended the state government for extending maternity leave to six months with a circular for implementation.
The nutrition partners said that the leave extension would enable working mothers to properly take care of their newborn babies before resumption.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had in a circular dated Aug. 29, granted approval for the extension of maternity leave for working mothers.
The circular obtained from Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital said, “In the light of the above mentioned development, you are hereby requested to bring the content of this circular to the attention of all staff’’.
The document noted that the extension would be from three months as institutionalised by Public Service to six months with effect from Aug. 14.
Miss Jessica Bartholomew, State Secretary, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) told NAN that the development was a ‘tremendous leap’ in promoting exclusive breastfeeding in the state.
“The idea is to provide enough time for working mothers to properly breastfeed their babies whose resultant effect shall guarantee healthy babies and mothers in line with international best practices,’’ Bartholomew said.
She said that the circular had translated the six months maternity leave pronouncement to reality, saying that working mothers could now breastfeed their babies for long.
“We commend the state government for its effort in promoting good nutrition practices to curb incidence of malnutrition among children less than five years.
“We (CS-SUNN) urge the beneficiaries to make the best use of the time to exclusively breastfeed their children to enable them start strong in life,’’ she said.
Malam Isah Ibrahim, Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, `Save the Children International’, also described the issuance of the circular as a milestone in the struggle for the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding.
Ibrahim commended the government for giving working mothers the needed time to practice exclusive breastfeeding, saying that the circular would help them start immediately.
He noted that the nutrition partners would continue to support the government in creating the needed awareness among beneficiaries to ensure appropriate breastfeeding practice for healthy development of children. (NAN)