They also alleged that many powerful multinational companies adopt many different techniques to bypass The Breast-milk Substitutes (Regulation of Marketing) Ordinance the government enacted in 1984.
‘To discourage the use of formulas there is no alternative of “brainwashing” people besides putting into place strict law,’ said Fatema Parveen, physician and secretary of Bangladesh National Nutrition Council, in her keynote presentation.
BRAC Advocacy for Social Change unit organized the event titled ‘Sharing Meeting on BMS Code Implementation’ at the BRAC Centre.
The event focused on identifying the gaps existing in promoting exclusive breastfeeding of children for the first six months after their birth and in promoting proper supplementary feeding from seventh month up to two years of age. Gaps existing in the implementation of the Ordinance have also been discussed at the event.
Kaosar Afsana, director of BRAC Health Nutrition and Population Programme, chaired the meeting with Mustafizur Rahman, programme manager of the National Nutrition Service, an undertaking of the government Institute of Public Health Nutrition.
Having mentioned that in recent years exclusive breastfeeding of children for the first six months have remarkably increased in the country taking it to above 60 per cent, the speakers said Bangladesh still has far to go in improving the nutritional status of under-five children.
Mustafizur Rahman informed the audience that the 1984 ordinance has been revised and sent to the ministry of law for scrutiny.
Kaosar Afsana described the activities BRAC is carrying out at the grassroots to motivate and facilitate mothers about exclusive breastfeeding and proper complementary feeding.
The speakers also stressed a powerful social movement that will strongly motivate people about exclusive breastfeeding and avert them from buying formulas for their babies.
Among others, Farzana Ishrat, nutrition expert, Abul Khair, city editor, Ittefaq, Alison Subrata Baroi, coordinator, Advocacy for Social Change BRAC were present at the meeting.