By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
As a measure to ensure adequate parental support for new born babies and the health of the nursing mothers, State governments led by All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday resolved to adopt a uniform policy on maternal and child nutrition, as it commenced implementation of 180 days (6 months) maternity leave for childbearing mother’s working as public or private employees.
It was part of the decisions reached at the virtual meeting of Secretaries to Governments of All Progressive Congress States under the auspices of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).
The theme of the conference is ‘Developing Common Policy Initiatives on Maternal and Child Nutrition Promotion in the APC States’.
Objective of the meeting included to identify salient and common initiatives of Maternal and Child Nutrition that can be replicated across all the APC controlled states.
In a communique jointly signed by Alhaji Adamu Fanini, SGS Jigawa state and Prof. Danladi Atu, SGS Plateau State, the APC states governments at the meeting reviewed the current status of child and maternal nutrition and considered implementation proposal by the PGF Secretariat.
According to the communique, “the meeting observed the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to the growth and general health of a child and therefore recommends that APC controlled states should encourage and support women to practice six months exclusive breastfeeding for children from birth.
“The meeting equally noted the importance of information and how it affects the attitudes of citizens toward the issues of nutrition and therefore urge APC controlled states to design a special communication strategy to raise public awareness on malnutrition and its consequences
“The meeting observed that there is no institutional framework for the implementation of programmes on food and nutrition in some states and therefore resolved that APC controlled states should set up State Committee on Food and Nutrition to relate with all FG programmes on Food and Nutrition and coordinate PGF’s implementation framework on child Nutrition in APC controlled state.
“The meeting equally encouraged each APC controlled state to continually give Status Report on what currently obtains in their state with a view to creating a template that reflects the current status of each APC state on Child Nutrition and each SGS should nominate the focal person for their state to relate with the PGF Secretariat on the implementation”.