Child nutrition: APC states mull 180 days maternity leave for nursing mothers

By Godwin Amunde

All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have resolved to implement the recommendation to prioritise the granting of 180 days (6 months) maternity leave for nursing mothers in all the APC controlled states.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of Secretaries to State Governments of the APC controlled states which was jointly signed by Alhaji Adamu Fanini (SGS Jigawa state) and his Plateau State counterpart, Prof. Danladi Atu.

The meeting, with the theme: ‘Developing Common Policy Initiatives on Maternal and Child Nutrition Promotion in APC States’, was aimed at identifying salient and common initiatives of maternal and child nutrition that can be replicated across all the APC-controlled states.

Part of the communiqué reads: “In view of the importance of parental support for children at birth and the health of the nursing parents, the meeting recommends that the APC controlled states should prioritise implementation of 180 days (6 months) maternity leave for women.

“The meeting observed the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the growth and general health of a child and therefore recommends that APC controlled states should encourage and support women to practice six months exclusive breastfeeding for children from birth.”

“The meeting equally noted the importance of information and how it affects the attitudes of citizens towards issues of nutrition. It, therefore, urged APC-controlled states to design a special communication strategy to raise public awareness on malnutrition and its consequences.

“The meeting observed that there is no institutional framework for the implementation of programmes on food and nutrition in some states and therefore resolved that APC controlled states should set up State Committees on Food and Nutrition to relate with all FG programmes on Food and Nutrition and coordinate PGF’s implementation framework on child Nutrition in APC controlled state.

“The meeting equally encouraged each APC controlled state to continually give Status Report on what currently obtains in their state with a view to creating a template that reflects the current status of each APC state on Child Nutrition and each SGS should nominate the focal person for their state to relate with the PGF Secretariat on the implementation.”

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