Food manufacturing industries in Nigeria have been urged to invest in packaging local and complementary foods for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).
Also Nigeria’s government has been told to make breastfeeding a curriculum in medical schools.
The call was made by health sector stakeholders at a workshop organized for health editors by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the theme: “Compliance With The Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) in Lagos recently.
It was disclosed on the occasion that World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended home-made family menu for complementary feeding. As a result, it was pointed out how imperative it is that food factories should be packaging local food products for domestic consumption.
:Real challenge in Nigeria is that Nigeria’s complementary food has not been taken to industrial level,” said Mr. Abdulsalam Ozigis, a facilitator.
Participants were at one that promoting infant and young child nutrition will enable the survival, growth and development of children in Nigeria.
It was pointed out on the occasion that food industrialists try to understand the loopholes of the national regulations and International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) in order to take avoiding measures that enable them contravene the BMS marketing laws.
Stakeholders therefore urged Nigerian government to show political will in implementing the code, and to review BMS laws and enforce them for the good of children in Nigeria.
They insisted that it is the duty of government to take punitive actions against violators of BMS marketing law. They also urged government to never allow billion Dollar industries dictate what they want from government in relation to marketing of BMS.
Ozigis also pointed out that breastfeeding is not yet a curriculum in medical education in Nigeria.
Breastfeeding should become a curriculum in Nigeria’s medical schools as is obtainable in some countries where there are breastfeeding institutes, Ozigis said.
It was also stated on the occasion that some medical professionals are ignorant of International Breast Milk Substitute Marketing Code and the national regulations on it.