Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government has said it is perfecting plans to extend maternity leave from the current three months to six months
The move is geared towards empowering nursing mothers to provide adequate care for new-born babies across the country. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole stated this at the 2018 World Breast Feeding Week in Abuja.
Adewole who harped on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the infant, added that “it is the duty of the government to promote, protect and support breast-feeding as part of their obligations to citizen under the UN convention on the Right of Child to help ensure Children’s right to health.” The minister explained that there was urgent need to consider the extension of the maternity to six months
He tasked married men to allow women to give breast milk to baby without any obstruction until the circle of breastfeeding is complete.
Also, the Minister of State for Budget and Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stated that seven million children are born every year in Nigeria and only 25 per cent are exclusively breastfed.
Ahmed added that government has embarked on numerous programme to advocate for breastfeeding.
Deputy Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Pernille Ironside said UNICEF would continue to advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding and for the women to get enough information, advise and support that they need to breastfeed a child.