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Kaduna State to grant paid 6-month exclusive breastfeeding for working mothers

The Kaduna State Government is collaborating with the state legislature to draft a law that grants a six-month period of paid exclusive breastfeeding for employed mothers in both public and private sectors.

Mrs. Ramatu Musa, the Nutrition Officer of the State Primary Healthcare Board, shared this information during a community engagement event with important stakeholders.

The forum had the theme “Empowering Breastfeeding: Creating an Impact for Working Mothers” with the goal of fostering interaction with individuals and organizations, comprehending the workplace obstacles encountered by working mothers, and charting a path ahead.

TheTimes learns that the event was organized in partnership with the international non-governmental organization, Alive and Thrive, as part of the activities commemorating International Breastfeeding Week.

Tackling malnutrition and child mortality

This community engagement forum brought together essential stakeholders from various facets of the healthcare sector to raise awareness about the critical significance of exclusive breastfeeding for children.

During the forum, Mrs Musa and other stakeholders emphasized the significance of exclusive breastfeeding in addressing the issue of malnutrition among children and lowering child mortality rates within the state.

Alive & Thrive zonal coordinator in Kaduna Sarah Kwasu said,

  • We will continue to partner with government and other stakeholders to expand and strategically scale up primary health care facilities which will enhance breastfeeding,” she said, adding that breastfeeding is one of the best investments in children and women’s health and survival”.

Data provided by the Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Board indicates that just 41.1% of children receive exclusive breastfeeding, with only four out of ten children being exclusively breastfed for a duration of six months or longer.

Likewise, findings from the 2015 National Nutrition Health Survey (NNHS) indicate that 42% of children in Kaduna State are categorized as “wasted” due to acute undernutrition.

Additionally, 52.1% of children under the age of five are classified as “stunted” due to chronic undernutrition.

Alongside its other objectives, this engagement of stakeholders on exclusive breastfeeding sought to elicit pledges from institutions.

These commitments aim to safeguard, advocate for, and provide backing to working mothers, ensuring they can exclusively breastfeed their children in a conducive setting for a minimum of six months from childbirth to tackle the issue of malnutrition among children and child mortality rates within the state.

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