APC controlled states propose 6 months maternity leave, exclusive breastfeeding

By Godwin Amunde

In a move to promote a framework for promoting child nutrition, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled states have proposed to implement six months maternity leave as well as exclusive breastfeeding for children from birth, stressing the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the growth and general health of a child.

The proposal was contained in a communiqué issued Thursday in Abuja at the end of a virtual meeting of Secretaries to State Governments of APC-controlled states held under the auspices of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF).

A communiqué jointly signed by Alhaji Adamu Fanini and Prof. Danladi Atu, which was  made available to news men in Abuja, said the theme for the virtual meeting was, “Developing Common Policy Initiatives on Maternal and Child Nutrition Promotion in APC States”. And the objective was to identify salient and common initiatives of Maternal and Child Nutrition that can be replicated across all APC States.

The meeting held following the Progressive Governors’ approval of the framework which was recommended by the 9th Meeting of Secretaries to Governments of APC Controlled States held in April 2020.

According to the communiqué, “After observing the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the growth and general health of the Child, APC controlled states should prioritise implementation of 180 days (6months) Maternity leave for Women.” 

The communiqué also urged APC controlled states to design a special communication strategy to raise public awareness on malnutrition and its consequences, after observing that there is no frame work for the implementation of programmes on food and nutrition in some states.

“APC controlled states should set up state committee on food and nutrition and coordinate on child nutrition in APC State to continually give status report on what is currently obtains in their tate with a view to creating a template that reflects the current States of each APC States on child nutrition and SGS should nominate the focal person for their State to relate with the PGF Secretariat on the implementation,” part of the communiqué read.

The communiqué stated that the meeting adopted the PGF Secretariat proposal for follow up meetings with Commissioners of Health, Education and Agriculture of APC controlled states in order to develop sectoral work plans for the implementation of the approved framework.

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