The Borno State Government has said it will implement six-month maternity leave for working mothers on its payroll.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Dr Mohammed Ghuluze, stated this during a symposium organised as part of the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He explained that the state government is stepping up efforts to achieve the 50 per cent exclusive breastfeeding target set by the World Health Assembly from the current 40 per cent.
“It is intended to galvanise action across multiple sectors, including the private sector, on how to improve existing breastfeeding facilities, create new ones where there are none, and review the possibility of legislating policies that promote breastfeeding-friendly workplaces,” he said.
Responding, the chairman of the Borno State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Maina Mustapha Garba, explained that the state government has four months of maternity leave in place for working mothers, assuring that efforts are on to extend it to six months.
Garba, also a renowned health professional, urged for more collaborative efforts among key actors with a view to creating adequate awareness of the need for six-month maternity leaves and friendly workplaces for nursing mothers in the state.
The state coordinator of Alive and Thrive, Dr Bashaar Abdul-Baki, pledged commitment to advancing policies that facilitate breastfeeding-friendly workplaces, such as providing dedicated lactation rooms and flexible working hours for nursing mothers.
World Breastfeeding Week is often held in the first week of August every year to inspire and drive positive change for working parents.