Gombe Govt has been call to Extend Maternity Leave for Nursing Mother to Six Months with Pay— CS-SUNN

By Abubakar Rabilu, Gombe


A Non-governmental organization, a non-profit-making coalition that is dedicated to transforming Nigeria into a country where every citizen enjoys food security and nutrition.


The Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria SC-SUNN in collaboration with UNICEF made the call in Gombe during a media round table meeting on the increased investment in nutrition to scale up quality nutrition services’ project.


The executive secretary of CS-SUNN, Jessica Bartholomew suggested the establishment of Nutrition Departments in all the Ministries, Department and Agencies, and advocated for the timely release of funds as that will assist them in implementing their activities in Gombe state.


She added that the consequences of malnutrition are far-reaching, affecting the health and development of individuals, communities, and the nation at large.


Also said Stunting, in particular, is linked to adverse outcomes such as poor brain and cognitive development, diminished educational attainment, and reduced productivity in adulthood.


According to her, the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2018) shows that 51.2% of children under five are stunted, 30.4 % are underweight, and 7.8 % are wasted in Gombe state.


She stated that these figures are not just numbers, adding that they represent the lives of Nigerian children and underscore the urgency for concerted efforts to address malnutrition.


She therefore said the absence of dedicated nutrition departments in the state further deepens this challenge, resulting in a decentralization of leadership and responsibility for policies, planning, programming, advocacy, and monitoring related to nutrition across various sectors.


In addition, the conducive environment for safeguarding maternity protection and entitlements, essential for nurturing and enriching breastfeeding practices, encounters challenges.


Added that the CS-SUNN stresses the critical need to reinforce efforts towards ensuring that every infant in Gombe can enjoy healthier and more prosperous lives.


Attaining this objective requires the implementation of maternity entitlements, including a six-month paid maternity leave, and the creation of workplace childcare facilities.


In the face of these challenges, CS-SUNN is implementing the ‘Increased Investment to Scale-Up Quality Nutrition Services’ project in Gombe State.


In collaboration with UNICEF, this inaugural media roundtable hosted by the Gombe State Chapter of CS-SUNN highlights the critical need for increased investments, timely releases and effective utilization of allocated funds for nutrition programming in Gombe.


Saying that the project further seeks to advocate for the extension of paid maternity leave from four to six months.


The NGO also Task the media on effective and heightened reporting of nutrition issues to stimulate policy and decision makers to take action towards curbing malnutrition in Gombe. “We will continually equip the media with relevant information for thorough and factual reporting on nutrition.”