Ghana: Govt Urged to Extend Maternity Leave

As the world celebrated international mothers' day on Monday, a number of breastfeeding mothers have appealed to the government for extension of maternity leave from three to five months.

According to them, exclusive breastfeeding was essential to building the mental and physical health of the child.

The mothers made the appeal when Vita Milk donated assorted food drinks to them at different hospitals and clinics in Accra.

Mrs Lily Adjetey, a pharmacist, said extension of maternity leave would enable her to undertake exclusive breastfeeding of her child.

The pharmacist, who was delivered of a baby girl three days ago, said, although her employer had given her additional one month to nurse her fresh baby, she stated that the days are not enough.

Mrs Adjetey told the Ghanaian Times that she had barely one-and-half month to report to work, and lamented the baby is still young to be left in the care of another person.

Mrs Nana Konadu Wiredu, a senior midwifery officer at Kaneshie Polyclinic, corroborated the sentiments of Mrs Adjetey, and explained that exclusive breastfeeding restores the health of the mother and the child.

She expressed concern over the lack of theatre and said it affected quality delivery of services.

Mrs Wiredu said most attendants were brought in critical condition and had to be referred to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and 37 Military Hospital.

Another nursing mother, Elizabeth Tackie, a nurse at Mamprobi Clinic, lamented the three months leave, noting that the extension would help build the immunity of the child.

Mr Samuel Denkyi Boakye, Marketing Manager, Vita Milk, said the request for extension of maternity leave was not farfetched, and urged government to adjust maternity leave from three to four months.

He said mothers' need the right nutrition for proper growth and the development of the child.

Mr Boakye said the donation was an acknowledgement of the important role women played in child upbringing.

He said Vita Milk had rolled out a programme to cater for the nutrition of malnourished children.

The company donated assorted drinks to mothers at Kaneshie Clinic, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Mamprobi Clinic.

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