UNICEF Seeks Implementation of 6 Months Maternity Leave for Mothers in Borno and Yobe states.


UNICEF North East Chief of Field Office Phuong Nguyen at a media briefing to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week in Maiduguri.

By Dauda Iliya

The United Nations Children Fund UNICEF has called on governments of Borno and Yobe states to review the maternity protection policy by extending the six months maternity leave to working mothers.

UNICEF North East Chief of Field Office Phuong Nguyen made the call at a media briefing to commemorate the 2023 World Breastfeeding week in Maiduguri. 

Nguyen also called for the provision of baby creches in all offices to ensure that working mothers in the government and private sectors breastfeed their infants for six months. 

She said children in North East Nigeria face daunting nutrition challenges which could lead to serious and permanent deficits in their growth and development. 

“For newborns, there is evidence that immediate breastfeeding for the first six months is a nutritional magic bullet that protects them from opportunic infections and help build their fragile immunity” UNICEF Chief said.

UNICEF Chief of Field noted that in Borno state, over 58 per cent of newborns are not exclusively breastfeed for six months while over 75 per cent of children in Yobe state do not have the advantage of exclusive breastfeeding. 

According to her, early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding with zero water for six months are measures to protect the child from killer diseases and improve the wellbeing and learning ability.  

Phuong Nguyen urged states government in the region to initiate policies that will also support displaced mothers sustain exclusive breastfeeding feeding. 

“We must therefore improve sensitisation and enlightenment on the benefits of early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding in communities and health facilities ” Nguyen stressed. 

The theme for this year’s celebration is Enabling breastfeeding: Making a difference for working parents.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *