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Government Unveils Visionary Plan to Support Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Nairobi, KENYA- 4th August 2023 - The Kenyan government has unveiled a visionary plan to address challenges faced by breastfeeding parents in the workplace, marking a significant step towards empowering working mothers and promoting the health and well-being of their children.

The plan, presented by the Principal Secretary (PS) of the State Department of Public Health and Professional Standards, Ministry of Health, aims to create an enabling environment for breastfeeding mothers, recognizing the vital role breastfeeding plays in early childhood development and maternal well-being.

During the launch of World Breastfeeding Week, the PS, Mary Muthoni Muriuki, in a speech ready by Dr. Simon Kibias highlighted the pressing issues faced by working mothers and outlined a series of comprehensive measures to ensure a supportive and inclusive workforce that prioritizes the health of both mothers and children.

The government's visionary plan includes several key elements to support working mothers and prioritize breastfeeding: The government's visionary plan includes several key elements to support working mothers and prioritize breastfeeding:

Establishing Dedicated Lactation Rooms: The government plans to collaborate with employers to set up dedicated lactation rooms in workplaces. These safe and private spaces will provide breastfeeding mothers with the comfort and convenience they need to express milk or breastfeed during working hours.

Providing Necessary Facilities: To further support breastfeeding mothers, the government will ensure that workplaces are equipped with necessary facilities, such as breastfeeding-friendly furniture and storage for expressed milk.

Advocating for Reasonable Nursing Breaks: Recognizing the importance of breastfeeding for both mother and child, the government will advocate for reasonable nursing breaks for working mothers. This measure aims to give mothers the time they need to prioritize their children's well-being without compromising on their career aspirations.

Encouraging Flexible Working Hours: To help working mothers balance their professional and parenting responsibilities, the government plans to encourage employers to adopt flexible working hours. This approach allows mothers to adjust their schedules to better meet the needs of their infants.

Raising Awareness: The government will launch a nationwide awareness campaign to educate employers and employees about the benefits of breastfeeding. By dispelling common misconceptions and promoting understanding, this campaign aims to foster a supportive and breastfeeding-friendly culture in workplaces.

Collaborating with NGOs and Healthcare Providers: The government will collaborate with non-governmental organizations and healthcare providers to offer training and support to employers.