As we celebrate this year’s Mother’s Day, Amref Health Africa is proud to announce that it has enhanced its maternity policy by offering six months maternity leave, including annual leave. Amref Health Africa’s vision is to achieve lasting health change which includes promoting women’s reproductive and maternal health.
As an organisation, we are cognisant of the significant barriers that mothers have in holding a job and still trying to ensure that the health and well-being of their infants is optimal. As a health development organisation, we also understand that breastfeeding is a call of nature and the mother and child need to respond to this call in the most appropriate way. However, breastfeeding mothers who work face various challenges in responding to this call of nature. This call provides critical nutrients that a baby needs, particularly in the first six months to achieve optimal growth, development, and health, as per the WHO recommendations. Further, the review of the policy was informed by the need to improve mental health of mothers, boost retention of female talent and reduce the gender pay gap caused by women having to drop off work once they have children.
Additionally, our analysis indicates that 75% of births, in Amref, are from the youth demographic (under 35 years) and this policy enhancement will be critical for solidifying our efforts to mainstream the Youth Agenda in the organisation. We believe that an enhanced maternity policy will greatly benefit our youthful female workforce, solidify our organisation’s commitment to maternal health and allow us to contribute meaningfully to the promotion of maternal health and well-being.