Gov. Sule Abdullahi of Nasarawa state

By Sunday John

An NGO, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), has appealed to Nasarawa Government to approve six months maternity leave for nursing mothers in the state.

Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN made the call on Friday at a one-day media roundtable in Lafia.

She said that approving six months maternity leave would allow nursing mothers to practise exclusive breastfeeding for their babies.

Eluaka added that nursing mothers in Lagos, Ekiti, Kaduna and Oyo states were already reaping the benefit of the six months maternity leave, urging Nasarawa to follow suit.

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The executive secretary added that breastfeeding a child exclusively for six months would go a long way to improve the infant and young child’s feeding system.

She also appealed to the government to ensure the regular provision of micro-nutrient powder, iron, folic acid supplements and zinc in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state for pregnant women and children.

Eluaka urged members of the public to always take advantage of local food sources like vegetables, plant and animal protein to improve on their nutritional status.

She also appealed to the state government for prompt release of funds meant for improved nutritional purposes to ensure healthy children.

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Eluaka noted the devastating impact of COVID-19 on child nutrition, urging government and other stakeholders to urgently address micronutrient deficiency-related issues to save the future generation from avoidable disorders.