Rwanda last week concluded a campaign to promote breastfeeding in the country, as part of the efforts to ensure mothers are able to exclusively breastfeed their children for at least the first six months of life. According to science, infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months get sick less often than those fed on other foods, they have less pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses and they also tend to have less intestinal disease, fewer ear infections and fewer allergies. ALSO READ: How is Rwanda boosting exclusive breastfeeding for working mothers? The campaign was conducted against the backdrop of the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS) of 2019-2020, which found a drop in exclusive breastfeeding for children under six months from 87 percent in 2015 to 80 per cent. The campaign, which ran under the theme; ‘let’s make breastfeeding and work, work’ specifically targeted working mothers, imploring employers to ensure their workers who have given birth are facilitated to breastfeed their children. ALSO READ: What exclusive breastfeeding means to both mother and child While many initiatives have been put in place to facilitate mothers including introduction of a maternity leave benefits insurance scheme to compensate all female employees absent from employment because of pregnancy, giving birth and subsequently caring for the newborn child. The scheme, to which all salaried Rwandans contribute, ensures that mothers are able to enjoy 12 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, which has been commended by many, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Understandably, it is easy for mothers to exclusively breast during the period when they are on leave, but then it becomes a challenge once they return to work, and this is what informed the just-concluded campaign. ALSO READ: Rwanda surpasses global exclusive breastfeeding average However, the subsequent three months have proven problematic. While the labour code allocates one hour for mothers to breastfeed, this time has been found to be inadequate because in most cases it is spent in commute. While some organisations in the country have been more pragmatic by extending maternity leave to six fully paid months, this can probably be more expensive for others. But there are other options, including the establishment of breastfeeding rooms in workplaces. Fortunately, some institutions have started establishing these rooms and more should be encouraged to follow suit. Where it is not practical, other measures may be improvised, including letting breastfeeding mothers work from home for the six months, after all this method generally worked well during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important that employers own this process because, a healthy child at an early stage of their existence will make them more productive in years to come, when they join the workforce.