The wife of the Jigawa State Governor, Hajiya Hadiza Umar Namadi has urged the state government to consider the immediate implementation of six months maternity leave for lactating mothers and two weeks for husbands whose wives just had a baby.
Mrs Namadi made the call on Wednesday at a world breastfeeding week event in the state.
She said exclusive breastfeeding required more commitment from relevant stakeholders for the brighter future of infants.
According to her ” As you are aware for babies under six months to stay healthy, scientific evidence recommends giving them breast milk only and on-demand (day and night)”
“No water, other liquids or foods should be given from the moment of birth until they reach six months of life, even in hot and dry climates, as breast milk contains all the water and nutrients a baby needs to grow well”
She explained that studies show that babies who receive liquids and foods in addition to breast milk before six months of age are at greater risk of diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
Mrs Namadi said inadequate knowledge among mothers on the benefits of breast milk, early return to work after childbirth, and lack of a conducive breastfeeding environment are some of the identified challenges that hinder breastfeeding among mothers in the state.
She, however, urged the Jigawa State Government to consider the implementation of six months of maternity for mothers and 2 weeks
paternity leave for husbands as well as the provision of breastfeeding-friendly spaces at public and private workplaces.
The state Commissioner for Health represented by the Permanent Secretary, State Primary Health Development Agency, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim said 80% of women in the state are not practicing exclusive breastfeeding in the state.
“Only 20% of women in the state are practising exclusive breastfeeding in the state”
Jigawa State government is committed to ensuring more women practice exclusive breastfeeding through the provision of a conducive atmosphere for exclusive breastfeeding in the state.
The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Enable Breastfeeding, Making a Difference for Working Parents.