In it’s efforts to ensure enhanced nutrition and secure approval of 6 months paid maternity leave for nursing mothers in Enugu state, a Non- Governmental Organization, Civil Society -Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria(CS-SUNN) Monday, January 22, paid an advocacy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mrs. Clara Eze, to seek support of her office.
Speaking, the Steering Committee chairman, CS-SUNN, South East, Ambassador Onyinye Mama stressed the need for nursing mothers to be given enough time and a conducive environment to breastfeed their babies exclusively at the first six months of birth.
Pix: CS-SUNN team and Perm Sec. Mrs Eze
Pix: Mrs Eze, Perm. Sec.
She said a research on why women should up from three months to six months exclusively breastfeeding showed that “the serenity of working environment for breastfeeding or lactating mothers comes with it’s own tension, expectations and timeline. “Breastfeeding goes with emotions, and balance . So, we finally looked at all these things and said, since we were clamouring and advocating for six months exclusive breastfeeding, it will be in our best interest to push for six months maternity leave, that is because, at the serenity of our homes,there is so much love and comfort.”
Pix: lCS-SUNN team
She explained that the nursing mothers will not be under work pressure while at home and conducive environment enhances the cognitive sense of the child, “the child is improving to become a better adult”, Mama said .
She added that the group was also advocating for the Government to indoctrinate that portion of budgeting that allows nutrition to be improved in Enugu state.
CS-SUNN with Mrs Eze(3rd Right)
Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Clara Ezeh, said they were in support of the course.
“We are all in support of what you want to achieve If we can achieve that and reduce illness, have good health, it’s good, ” She said.
The permanent secretary said they were not only focusing on breastfeeding, but also in the area of nutrition. Her words ,”we are not just focusing on breastfeeding , a lot will be achieved in the area of nutrition this year”
CS-SUNN tea Mama( Sitting 1st row)
Earlier, Enugu state Coordinator of CS-SUNN, Finian Ali, appealed to the Permanent Secretary to consider including 6months paid maternity leave for the pregnant women in the State ‘s Civil Service in the memo to the state Government.
He said, exclusive breastfeeding promotes good health. It helps to reduce cases of malnutrition and saves cost
Author: Maureen Ikpeama