Nursing mothers in All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled states are to start observing six-month maternity leave to enable them practice exclusive breast feeding.
This was contained in a communiqué at the end of a virtual meeting for developing common policy initiatives on maternal and child nutrition promotion in APC States by Secretaries to State Governments under the auspices of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).
The communiqué, signed by Secretaries to the State Governments of Jigawa and Plateau Alhaji Adamu Fanini and Prof. Danladi Atu, said the decision was in furtherance of parental support for children at birth and the health of the nursing parents in the APC controlled states.
The meeting, which was a follow-up to the 9th Meeting of Secretaries to Governments of APC Controlled States on April 27, 2020, also reviewed the status of child and maternal nutrition in APC states and considered implementation of the proposal by the PGF Secretariat.
According to the communiqué, the meeting resolved: “In view of the importance of parental support for children at birth and the health of the nursing parents, the meeting recommend that APC controlled states should prioritise implementation of 180 days (6 months) maternity leave for women.
“The meeting observed the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the growth and general health of a child and therefore recommends that APC controlled states should encourage and support women to practice six months exclusive breastfeeding for children from birth;
“The meeting equally noted the importance of information and how it affects the attitudes of citizens toward the issues of nutrition and therefore urge APC controlled states to design a special communication strategy to raise public awareness on malnutrition and its consequences;
“The meeting observed that there is no institutional framework for the implementation of programmes on food and nutrition in some states and therefore resolved that APC controlled states should set up State Committee on Food and Nutrition to relate with all FG programmes on Food and Nutrition and coordinate PGF’s implementation framework on child Nutrition in APC controlled state;
“The meeting equally encouraged each APC controlled state to continually give Status Report on what currently obtains in their state with a view to creating a template that reflects the current status of each APC state on Child Nutrition and each SGS should nominate the focal person for their state to relate with the PGF Secretariat on the implementation.”