Islamabad-Enforcement of rules for Child Nutrition Ordinance remains a challenge for government while it has committed to achieve the global health targets set in 69th World Health Assembly (WHA), an official said on Tuesday.

This was stated by Aids Control Program Manager, Ministry of National health Services, Dr Baseer Khan Achakzai, on the occasion of a seminar about significance of breastfeeding.

He said, in 2002 necessary legislation for protection and promotion of breastfeeding was made through ‘The Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance, 2002’ and in 2009 the breastfeeding rules were also formulated and endorsed by the health ministry. However enforcement of these rules still remains a challenge, he said.

“It is pertinent to mention that Federal and Provincial Infant Feeding Boards are also active now and Infant & Young Child Feeding Strategy 2016, has also been approved by the ministry,” the official said.

Dr Baseer Said World Health Assembly under UN has also set targets to improve breastfeeding and Government of Pakistan has also committed to adhere to these global targets set in 69th WHA.

The Government of Pakistan and Ministry of NHSR&C is cognizant of the fact and the need there of in this respect.

Dr Baseer pointed out one major challenge and that is role of healthcare providers in prescribing and promoting indiscriminate sale and use of breast milk substitute and formula milk which is a major threat to life and wellbeing of young children in Pakistan.

Dr Baseer said that civil society and parliamentarians have to work hard for implementation of International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, 1981 approved by the WHA and must take all possible measures to protect and promote breastfeeding in all circumstances.

He also urged upon development partners, civil society, media and healthcare community to join hands with government and stand firmly to restore the right of breastfeeding to children of Pakistan.

“As far as government is concerned, we will take all possible measures to enforce BMS Code and Breastfeeding Ordinance with visible action against all responsible,” he said.

He also added that one of the most important rights of young children which guarantee their survival and wellbeing throughout life and that is breastfeeding.

Appropriate feeding practices are essential for the nutritional status, growth, development and survival of infants and young children, said Dr Baseer.

He said infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and thereafter should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues up to two years and beyond.

This is also stressed upon in Quran, “That mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing,” he concluded.