Nigeria: NAFDAC to Intensify Awareness Campaign On Breast Milk Substitutes Marketing Code

26 February 2021

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it is intensifying an awareness campaign to ensure compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) in Kaduna State.

The State's Coordinator of the Agency, Dadi Mullah-Natim disclosed this on Thursday during a sensitisation workshop for Neonatal Doctors on the International Code for Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and the national regulations.

The coordinator said that emphasis for the sensitisation drive is marketing practices which he said were not properly applied.

"Sometime in 2019, Neonatal doctors had a conference and invited us to come over for a talk and there was an uproar because they did not understand the constitution.

"We resolved to bring them today so that we can show them what the code is all about.

" I am happy clarity has come and they know about it now and how they will organise the way to relate with the marketers.

" We all know that there's no food like breast milk and it is significant to the infant,"he said.

The coordinator said that NAFDAC intends to improve the knowledge, practice and attitude of Nigerians towards exclusive breastfeeding.

He stressed that the continued violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS), and national regulations by manufacturers of BMS products, as one of the challenges facing full adoption of exclusive breastfeeding by Nigerians.

He said the code has it's article which included aim, Scope,definitions, information and evaluation, provision and health care systems.

According to him, as an agency, it is central to protect, promote and support optimal LYCF for child survival,health growth and development.

In a presentation, Sarah Kwasu of 'Alive and Thrive Organisation' said about half of all child deaths are from poor nutrition.

She said most deaths occurred during the first month of life of infant feeding.

"The percentage of a child who has ever been breastfed was 97 per cent in both 2008 and 2018.

"The percentage of children who started breastfeeding within one hour of birth has increased by nine per cent from 33 to 42 per cent, while the percentage of infants who started breastfeeding within one day has increased from 65 to 82 per cent," she added.

Kwasu also said that to ensure that deaths are avoided, it was important to strengthen health and community systems and fully integrate nutrition into all aspects of the primary health care systems.

According to her " We should align with current trends and adapt to the new normal".

She said that there was a need to focus attention on the promotion of feeding practices that are beneficial to the survival of children and caregivers.

" Ensure adequate records of all interventions are kept this will help in future planning and support and intervention," she said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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