Breastfeeding Week: NGO urges Kano govt to approve 6 months maternity leave
A nongovernmental organization (NGO) Alkhairi orphanage and women development (AOWD), has urged Kano state government and private employers to give six months maternity leave for nursing mothers so that they can get enough time to do exclusive breastfeeding of their babies.
Also, the group called on employers to give three months paternity leave so that fathers can support mothers while breastfeeding.
The NGO Executive Director, Hajiya Rukayya Abdurraham made the call on Monday during sensitization program to commemorate the world breastfeeding week at Garangamawa primary health care, Gwale Local Government area, Kano State.
According to her the world breastfeeding week is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness about breastfeeding practices and policies for babies and mothers.
She added that the week is observed in the first week of August annually.
“We are here at Garangamawa primary health care to commemorate the world breastfeeding week, in order to create enable space for breastfeeding mothers in their workplace and for the entire community to support women towards breastfeeding of their babies.”
“Initially, most of the women in Kano don’t even believe in exclusive breastfeeding, tradition is playing a key role in stopping the mothers from practicing exclusive breastfeeding, but now with the sensitization that we conduct almost every three months and also commemorating the world breastfeeding week, we have a lot of turn out, which most nursing mothers now believe that exclusive breastfeeding is very important.”
“We are advocating for the government to introduce a policy that will enhance six months maternity leave, which will help the nursing mothers to have a lot of nutritional balance that they needed in their bodies, and as well, it will give the child enough time to be breastfed from the mothers.”
“And also, we are advocating the government to include paternity leave of three months, so that fathers can support nursing mothers while breastfeeding the children.
On his part, Kano state team leader, FHI360 alive and thrive project, Dr, Ashiru Hamza Mohammad said exclusive breastfeeding prevents the mother and the child from contracting disease later in life.
“Research has shown that exclusive breastfeeding prevents mother and the child from contracting disease even later in life, these bigger diseases whether cancer, hypertension, diabetes and the rest, the risk of having them is reduced if the child breastfeed, especially exclusively breastfeeding.”
He added that the theme of the week is “Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work.”
Alkhairi orphanage and women development also distributed soap, detergent and other items to pregnant women at the event.