An NGO, Save the Children International, has called on the Kaduna State Government to issue a circular to back the implementation of the six months maternity leave granted to working mothers in the state’s public service.
The SCI Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, Malam Isah Ibrahim, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday, while speaking on the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week.
NAN reports that Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i had, in his inauguration speech after he took the oath to commence his second tenure, announced the extension of maternity leave from three months to six months to allow working mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children.
Ibrahim, who described the pronouncement as “a milestone” in the struggle for the promotion of exclusive breast feeding in the state, however, noted that a circular to that effect had not been issued by the government to back its implementation.
He said: “We applaud El-Rufa’i and his Executive Council for extending the maternity leave to enable working mothers to practise six months exclusive breastfeeding.
He said: “But the extension will remain a mere pronouncement if there is no circular to translate the pronouncement into reality and serve as a backing document for implementation.
“We are urging the state government to issue the circular conveying the executive approval to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies for compliance and immediate implementation.”
According to Ibrahim, this will greatly encourage and promote exclusive breast feeding among working class mothers and promote a healthy growth and development of infants.
He said: “As we join other nations of the world to celebrate the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week, we equally appeal to the state government to provide crèches in all MDAs to promote breastfeeding practices in workplaces,” the nutritionist said.
NAN reports that the World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from August 1 to 7 every year to promote breastfeeding practice and improve the health of babies worldwide.