Working mothers in Nigeria should get 6 months maternity leave with full pay!

Working mothers in Nigeria should get 6 months maternity leave with full pay!

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GBEMISOLA BOYEDE started this petition to President Muhammadu Buhari

I started this when in less than 2 hours, I have answered on Ask The Paediatricians Facebook Group 2 questions from mothers who want to know how to care for their babies as they  resume work soon. Their babies are just 5 and 7 weeks old. This is serious.

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. We as a Nation MUST invest in the health of our mothers and the children who are our future. They guarantee the continuity of our nations.

Currently only four 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 level.

We are therefore calling on the President Mohammadu Buhari  and all the State governors in Nigeria to give working mothers 6 months of maternity leave to be able to breastfeed without work worries. We are specifically asking for this policy to be implemented for federal government staff.

Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna and Oyo 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 Presidency to approve and implement 6 months maternity leave for mothers in the federal civil service.

Join us by sharing and signing this petition. Thank you for supporting us in protecting breastfeeding.

Dr Gbemisola Boyede

Paediatrician/CEO

Ask The Paediatricians Foundation

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!