The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has urged husbands to encourage their wives to put their babies on exclusive breast milk.
This is just as the minister hinted that he was having talks with the Ministry of Labour and Employment to extend maternity leave from the current four months to six.
Adewole made this known at the ministerial briefing and inauguration of the 2018 World Breastfeeding Week and High Level Policy Dialogue on Breastfeeding in Abuja on Thursday.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life’, the minister said breastfeeding remained the surest way to have a healthy baby.
He said, “What has been shown clearly is that the brain, which we actually need to drive everything we do in life, is sorted out in the first two years. So, if you give the baby good food, good protein, we will have good workers and good leaders in the future.
“But if we don’t give them good food, then we will have a generation of jesters over the years and that is not what we want in this country. So, breastfeeding is a national investment in the cerebral architecture of our citizens and in the future development of our country.
“So, let us work together to promote it. To the men, please allow the women to give it to the babies. Don’t share or compete with the babies. Only promote it. To the women, I know you love us but don’t give it to us, give it to the babies.”
Adewole noted that he was having talks with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on the possibility of extending the maternity leave from four to six months.
He said this would give women more time to breastfeed their babies.
The minister noted, “Now we have four months of maternity leave but we are working with labour to increase it to six so that there will be no excuse because if you have six months, there is no excuse.”