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UNICEF solicits extension of maternity leave to promote exclusive breastfeeding

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The UNICEF has appealed for the extension of maternity leave for the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding in Jigawa state.

The Chief of UNICEF, Kano Field Office, Mr. Rahama Farah, made the appeal at the flag-off of 2023 World Breastfeeding week on Wednesday in Dutse, Jigawa capital.

He said there was need for the state to support nursing mothers by extending paid maternity leave for government employees, from the current three to six months.

Farah stressed the need for working mothers who were breastfeeding to be supported through provision of lactation rooms or creches in all ministries and departments.

He further called on stakeholders to support breastfeeding, as it will enhance the health and happiness of families.

Represented by Mr Isyaku Dioff, Farah said that it was essential to reflect on the progress made so far and the strides that still lies ahead in supporting our working parents.

The Jigawa Governor’s wife, Mrs Hadiza Namadi, appealed to employers of labour in the public and private sector to grant nursing mothers more time.

Namadi commended the 2023 theme of the World Breastfeeding Week, “Enabling breastfeeding-Making a difference for working parents.”

She stressed the need for women to be given full opportunity to exclusively breastfeed during the first six months of child birth.

She, however, tasked stakeholders to engage in more awareness on the need for exclusive breastfeeding.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Kabiru Ibrahim, commended the solidarity of the first lady.

He harped on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the health and welfare of mothers and children.

According to him, “More than 90 per cent of women do not exclusively breastfeed and there is need for more advocacy on that.”

An Islamic scholar who made a presentation at the event, Sheikh Baba Waziri, revealed the position of exclusive breastfeeding in Islam.

He explained that Islam ordered mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for them to be healthy and grow happily.

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