KARACHI - There is an urgent need to adopt a bill into law for ‘breast feeding and child nutrition’ to discourage formula (baby) milk.Health Education & Literacy Programme (HELP) Chairperson Prof Dr DS Akram, while addressing a press conference on “Saving Lives of Newborn by Early Initiation of Breast Feeding and Exclusive Breast Feeding” at Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, said that an ordinance was promulgated in 2002, but was not implemented as after the 18th amendment in the Constitution, the subject was devolved to the provinces.She elaborated upon the rules and regulations incorporated into the ordinance and procedures outlined for its implementation, under which the role of the” Infant Feeding Board” was clarified and presented. “Their function involves receiving reports on any violation, planning and co-ordination and dissemination of information and educational material and to advise government on policies for protection of breast feeding, infant young child feeding (IYCF).Dr DS Akram emphasised that breastfeeding helped reduce infant mortality rate. She explained that major cause of malnutrition among children was bottle feeding as it had a greater chance of having diarrhea than breastfeeding.Huge amount of foreign exchange is spent on formula milk annually. There is no control on advertising and mothers and are highly influenced by them.She requested the media to come forward and play pivotal role in convincing the policy makers to adopt this ordinance. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Fehmina Arif, a renowned paediatrician and Head of Pediatric Department, Dow University of Health Sciences, said that breastfed babies were less likely to develop pneumonia, diabetes, childhood cancer, asthma., allergies and had a better IQ.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 30-Jan-2013 here.