The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged journalists to always report the continued violation of International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) .
Mrs Josephine Dayilim, State Coordinator of NAFDAC in Bauchi, made the call on Thursday at a one day orientation for Media practitioners and social media Influencers.
The meeting was on promotion and biannual meeting for reporting to amplify Maternal Infant and Young child Nutrition (MIYCN) activities, organised by Alive and Thrive FHI360.
Mrs Daliyam said the agency needed the support of journalists to monitor and report violators of national regulations by manufacturers of BMS products Code
She said NAFDAC would prosecute and ensure that violators were jailed for a period of two years and that such companies or individuals would forfeit the offending items on conviction.
She said the implementation of the Code was designed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and prevent health caregivers from aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by infant food manufacturers.
The coordinator noted that lack of awareness of stakeholders, including the media, had also contributed to the gravity of violations currently being practiced .
She then appealed to journalists to report such cases of violators and as well create awareness on the code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitute,
On his Part, Mr Asimobi Chidi, state Focal Person Alive and Thrive FHI360, advised the public to desist from promotion of breast milk substitutes as food for infants less than six months and also go for local complimentary meals after six months.
He noted that BMS posed risk of not having breast milk’s protective qualities through the high risk of contamination that could lead to life-threatening infections in young infants.
He said the objective of the Food and Nutrition was to focus attention on the need to integrate actions to improve maternal, infant, and young child nutrition across the different stages
“Window of opportunity” from preconception through pregnancy, the period of exclusive breastfeeding (0 to 6 months) and the target age for complementary feeding 6 to 24 months.”
Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, noted that Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) is not a sustainable approach in curbing the menace of malnutrition among infants and babies.
Mohammmed, represented by Mr Dahiru Mahmood, Director, Disease Control and Immunization of the healthcare agency, said the agency would engage communities on dangers of poor nutrition on human development.
He also urged the media to disseminate key messages using correct information to create awareness. (NAN)