Give working mothers in Abia State 6 months maternity leave with full pay

Give working mothers in Abia State 6 months maternity leave with full pay

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Ask The Paediatricians Foundation started this petition to Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and

Ask The Paediatricians Foundation is fully committed to promotion of the health and welfare of all children globally and especially in Nigeria through our online health education platforms and offline community medical outreaches!

We are on a mission to reduce the high rate of preventable deaths of children in Nigeria in line with the sustainable development goal 3. About one million Nigerian children under the age of 5 die each year from largely preventable and treatable conditions. One of the well-known child survival strategies that can reduce more than 75% of these deaths is breastfeeding. WHO and UNICEF recommends all babies should be exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life.

On our Ask The Paediatricians Facebook group where Paediatricians answer averagely 1000 child health questions from parents every week; we have seen lot of questions from working mothers who are anxious about how to feed their babies when they start work. They are unable to continue exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months because of they are about to go back to work. We have answered these questions for mothers with babies as young as 5 weeks old!!

This is a serious issue as the well-being of these children are at great risk. This explains why the exclusive breastfeeding rate for the country is a mere 29% in 2018!!  Working mothers have to go back to work too early and unable to complete the recommended 6 months exclusive breastfeeding.

If we as a nation must reduce the high rate of deaths of children under the age of 1; we must be serious about ensuring mothers are breastfeeding exclusively. Mothers need sufficient time to heal after the stress of child birth and to exclusively breastfeed their babies for 6 months with all the attendant benefits not only for the children but for the family, the state and nation.

Currently only three states out of the thirty-six states and the Federal capital territory have the 6 months maternity leave policy. We are asking for this policy to be implemented in all states of the federation and at the federal government level.

We are therefore calling on all the State government in Nigeria to give working mothers 6 months of maternity leave to be able to breastfeed without work worries. We are specifically calling for this policy to be implemented in Abia State.

Lagos, Ekiti and Kaduna States have already implemented this. As we celebrate this week another World Breastfeeding week in 2021 with the theme of protecting breastfeeding; a shared responsibility, we are asking you to join us in protecting breastfeeding by signing this petition to get the Abia State Governor, His Excellency Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and the Abia State Government to implement 6 months maternity leave for mothers employed by the State. This will also serve as a model for the private employers of labour in Abia State.

Join us by sharing and signing this petition till Abia State joins the other states where this has been implemented in Nigeria. Thank you for supporting us in protecting breastfeeding.

Dr Gbemisola Boyede

Paediatrician/CEO

Ask The Paediatricians Foundation

 

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