The Kaduna State Government says it is working with with state legislature to enact a law that will provide for a six months paid exclusive breastfeeding for working mothers in both private and public sectors.
This was disclosed by the Nutrition Officer of the State Primary Healthcare Board, Mrs Ramatu Musa, during a community engagement forum with key stakeholders in collaboration with an international non governmental organization, Alive and Thrive as part of occasions to mark the international breastfeeding week.
Stakeholders at the forum stressed the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to tackle the scourge of malnutrition in children as well as reducing child mortality in the state.
Statistics from the Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Board shows that only 41.1 per cent children are exclusively breastfed, while only four out of ten children undergo exclusive breastfeeding for six months or more.
Similarly, the National Nutrition Health Survey, (NNHS) of 2015 confirms that 42 per cent of children in Kaduna State are termed wasted from acute under nutrition while a further 52.1 per cent of children under five years old are termed stunted from chronic under nutrition.
To breach the gap, the State government in collaboration with an international non governmental organization, Alive and Thrive, organised the community engagement forum with key stakeholders across the health sector value chain to sensitise them on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for children.
The forum with the theme: “‘Enabling Breastfeeding: making a difference for working mothers “, aims at engaging with individuals and institutions and understand the work place challenges for working mothers and way forward.
Among other objectives, this stakeholders engagement on exclusive breastfeeding is expected to solicit commitments from institutions to protect, promote and support working mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children in a comfortable environment for at least six months from the day of delivery.