On 6th February 2018, the Better Business Practices for Children (BBPC) Project officer Ms. Caroline Kawira sought to sensitize the KEPSA Security Sector Board members on the importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers at the workplace. The sensitization is part of the ongoing awareness creation plan among the KEPSA Members.
The Project Officer took members through BBPC since its inception in 2010 to date and said the initiative is as a result of a collaborated effort by KEPSA, Ministry of Health and UNICEF. Sector Board members were informed that during the first phase in 2012-2013, a section of KEPSA Members committed to support the BBPC Initiative components as well as in the current second phase of implementation which is aimed at improving the maternal and child health by making workplaces conducive to support breastfeeding mothers. The BBPC initiative is in line with the Health Act 2017 which mandates all employers to provide requisite and equipped lactation space and time to support breastfeeding as per the recommendations by World Health Organization (WHO).
Members noted that the Initiative is a noble idea and committed to support the initiative by extending the message to their clients who employ security personnel. They also agreed to further deliberate on how to ensure women within the Security Sector are adequately supported as per the guidelines.
It was also noted that there is need to raise more awareness within the larger security sector players as well as forge Public Private Partnerships to create lactation spaces in the public spaces and include the concept when coming up with new buildings.
The essential components of Better Business Practices for Children include;
- Compliance with paid maternity leave under the Kenyan employment act of 2007.
- Review work place policies on flex time, including the flexibility for short breaks to express breast milk, to support women who are exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months after delivery.
- Promote and support exclusive breastfeeding through work place sensitization.
- Providing a designated clean, private area for mothers to express breast-milk or breastfeed their babies.