The Civil Society- Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), a coalition of NGOs on Thursday, lauded Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde for approving the review of maternity leave to six months.
Oyo state government had on Tuesday, announced the extension of maternity leave from three months to six months.
It adopted the six-month policy in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation on exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) of a child.
Ms. Jayne Arinze, Senior Monitoring Evaluation Officer for CS- SUNN gave the commendation at the ongoing five-day capacity training for media practitioners and civil society organisations on scaling up nutrition in Nigeria in Ibadan.
She said that the extension would give nursing mothers the opportunity to practice exclusive breastfeeding and also improve infant health outcomes.
“We want to congratulate the Oyo State Government on this giant stride, which we believe will help to reduce malnutrition crisis in the state.
“The extension of maternity leave for its female employee will help to increase exclusive breastfeeding uptake in the state.
“Exclusive breastfeeding is very important in the first few months of a baby’s life to guarantee their optimal growth and development.
“Breast milk, which contains all the nutrients any infant need in the first six months of their life, is the best source of nutrition for a new born baby.
“Nutrition forms the basis of any developmental issue, out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 14 of them are related to nutrition; in essence, we cannot achieve these SDGs without nutrition.
“The adoption of six-month maternity leave will not only positively impact on the lives of the babies and their mothers but also the state as a whole in terms of productivity and development,” she said.