A Non-Governmental Organization, Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Enugu State Chapter, has taken advocacy visit to Enugu state Government, seeking approval for six months maternity leave with pay for nursing mothers working with the State Civil Service .
Pix-Group picture of CS-SUNN/Enugu committee team
Speaking at the Head of Service Office, Enugu, where they met with the committee on Civil Service Rules Review, the state Coordinator of CS-SUNN,Finian Ali said they came to seek for the extension of maternity leave and paid maternity leave from the current four months to six months for nursing mothers in the state civil service to help promote exclusive breastfeeding and ensure that mothers give their babies the quality breastmilk nutrition that they deserve.
Pix-Group picture of CS-SUNN
He said, “The extended maternity leave will empower mothers, positively impact infant health, and foster healthier family dynamics. The approval of six months maternity protection will help ensure and promote exclusive breastfeeding this period. It will help to stabilize the emotional and mental health of nursing mother and ensure ability to breastfeed exclusively.
“This will translate to improved cognitive and overall wellbeing of the child, and will invariably translate to state development, including reducing the huge cost of treatment of malnutrition in the state”, Ali said.
He noted that Nutrition was essential to children’s growth and development, adding that the first 1000 days of a child’s life (the period from conception to age 2) was especially important for optimal physical, mental and cognitive growth, health and development.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Chukwuma Gerald Nnaji said that their visit was at a time they were on the review of the Civil Service Rules. He promised to study their proposal and give it attention.
CS-SUNN is an alliance of non-governmental, non-profit organizations with a shared vision to transform Nigeria into a country where every citizen is food and nutrition secured.
Apart from engaging government and mobilizing non-state actors to advocate for relevant policies, funding and programme implementation, evidence generation and capacity building of local communities to scale-up nutrition, CS-SUNN with support from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is implementing the Increased Investment in Nutrition to Scale up Quality Nutrition Services Project.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama