Nasarawa State, Nigeria – In a progressive move to support nursing mothers and encourage breastfeeding, the Nasarawa State Government has unveiled plans to establish breastfeeding desks within government offices across the state. This initiative aims to create nurturing environments that empower breastfeeding mothers to provide adequate care for their children while fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
The momentous announcement was made by Dr. Janet Angbazu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, during a press briefing in Lafia to mark the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week. Dr. Angbazu emphasized that breastfeeding holds the potential to address numerous challenges obstructing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The focus of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week centers around the theme of breastfeeding and work. Dr. Angbazu highlighted the critical importance of supporting maternity rights that facilitate breastfeeding, especially within workplace settings. She highlighted that the lack of conducive workplace environments is a primary factor leading to premature cessation of breastfeeding among women.
“We are committed to ensuring that all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) within the state establish breastfeeding-friendly spaces to facilitate nursing mothers. Additionally, we will engage with the state House of Assembly to advocate for an extension of maternity leave from three to six months, promoting exclusive breastfeeding and providing children with essential nutrients,” Dr. Angbazu explained.
Supporting this initiative, the First Lady of Nasarawa State, Hajiya Silifat Sule, emphasized the critical role of breast milk in a child’s development. She emphasized that breast milk is an irreplaceable gift from nature, and she encouraged mothers to prioritize exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding alongside complementary foods.
Furthermore, Hajiya Silifat Sule urged parents and guardians to exercise caution and vigilance in selecting appropriate caregivers for their children, given the increasing complexities of the modern world.
The rally to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, organized by the Ministry of Health, witnessed the participation of notable figures including Hajiya Silifat Sule, the First Lady of Nasarawa State, Abigail Waya, the Head of Civil Service, and female Permanent Secretaries, along with representatives from Civil Society Organizations. This innovative initiative is poised to establish Nasarawa State as a trailblazer in promoting breastfeeding and fostering supportive work environments for nursing mothers.