The Commissioner of Health Nasarawa State, Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yahaya said maternity leave will be extended to Six Months to encourage and improve the exclusive breastfeeding among working class mothers as well as to provide the babies with the needed nutrients for the first 1000 days of their lives.
He stated this Thursday (13/11/2020) in his office while playing host to Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) that paid him an advocacy visit.
He described the extension of maternity leave for civil servants from four months to six months as an investment in human capital development and will go a long way to address the issue of Malnutrition in children in the State.
According to him, as an emergency Action Plan, the Ministry of Health will write a Leave Bill to the Governor for onward transmitting to the State House of Assembly to make it as a law.
The Bill will provide for six months of maternity leave for women and
government will translate the pronouncement of the approved six months of maternity leave into law to ensure sustainability.
“This will ensure the survival, healthy growth, and development of the child into an intelligent, innovative, and creative adult that will contribute to the development of the state and the nation.”
He added that “The government, with the support of development partners is equally implementing Community management of Acute Malnutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding intervention.
“All these are in a bid to improve the nutrition status of women and children in the state,’’ He said.
Earlier the leader of the deligation and Chairperson of CS-SUNN Nasarawa State, Mrs. Mercy Aso said they are advocating for extension of six months Maternity Leave for Civil Servants in the State.
According to her, this step will encourage and improve the six months of exclusive breastfeeding among working mothers to provide the babies with the needed nutrients for the first 1,000 days of their lives.
She also said: “This will ensure the survival, healthy growth, and development of the child.”
Mrs.Asso maintained that the extension will equally help the full recovery of women after childbirth and support them to breastfeed their children exclusively for six months without any fear of losing their jobs.
“The maternity leave will further ensure effective access to quality maternal healthcare, thereby contributing to the health and well-being of mothers and their babies.
She commended the Nasarawa State Government for improving on its Malnutrition status especially on the policy strategies which She identified some of these policies, strategies, and plans to include State Policy on Food and Nutrition, State Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition, and State Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Strategy.
“Others are State Multi-Sectorial Strategic Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.”
She also appreciated the effort of the State in ensuring that all lines MDAs that implement nutrition activities have budget while appealing for timely release of funds to enable them to fastrack activities as expected.