By Kemi Olatunde
Ondo State Government has reinstated commitment towards giving necessary support to mothers in embracing exclusive breastfeeding of their babies.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget who was represented by Mr. Adebusoye Oripinye disclosed this while giving the keynote address in commemoration of the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week yesterday in Akure.
According to him, government has put in place measures including the extension of the maternity leave for female civil servants from three to six months.
He explained that the week is celebrated between 1st and 7th. August yearly saying that its importance is enormous, hence the need for the sensitisation of mothers.
Breast milk according to him helps proper child growth, reduces unnecessary expenses, gives immunity to children and also grants sound health to mothers.
He called on mothers not to be shy of breastfeeding their children.
In his welcome address, Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA), Dr. Francis Akanbiemu who was represented by Mr Israel Adeyemi, stated that the theme; “enabling breastfeeding; making a difference for working mothers” focuses on employing the importance of system to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in Nigeria.
While noting that lactating mothers are faced with challenges which hinder exclusive breastfeeding, he explained that Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the state has been able to tackle some of the challenges through the provision of well furnished creche at the state secretariat, elongation of maternity leave for female civil servants from three months to six months and two week paternity leave for male civil servants.
In his goodwill message, State Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO), who was represented by Miss Joy Asubiojo, said that women shouldn’t choose between breastfeeding their children and work stating that they should be able to breastfeed and also work in good and safe environment.
Representative, Akure South PHC Coordinator, Mr. Micheal Oride described breastfeeding as the functional aspect of immunity which according to him can stand infection.
Director, Medical Services, OSPHCDA, Dr. Paulinus Omode stressed the need for mothers to eat nutritious food in order for babies to obtain the required nutrients in right proportion.