LAHORE: Punjab Primary and Secondary Health Minister Khawaja Imran Nazir had ordered the promotion of breastfeeding in the province to aid better growth, disease prevention and reduce infant mortality.
He said necessary amendments would be introduced to the Breastfeeding Act for this purpose.
The minister issued this statement while presiding over a meeting of the newly re-constituted infant feeding board on Tuesday. Integrated Reproductive Mother, Newborn and Child Health & Nutrition Programme Provincial Director Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed, Additional Director Dr Akhtar Rasheed Malik, Baby Milk Manufacturers Association representatives, women members of the Punjab Assembly and other officers attended the meeting.
Khawaja Imran said a board meeting would be called every month for the early implementation of decisions. He ordered that proposed amendments should be finalised by the end of July and comprehensive awareness campaigns launched through the media.
The minister said that basic objectives of introducing amendments to the breastfeeding act were to prevent children from diseases and promote a healthy society. “The purpose of these initiatives was not to close down the formula milk industry, but to promote breastfeeding in society,” the ,inister concluded.
While briefing the board, Dr Akhtar Rasheed said all stakeholders, including manufacturers of formula milk products, were on board for the proposed amendments. He said breastfeeding promotion committees would be formed in all public sector hospitals.
It was also proposed that formula milk manufacturer companies be bound to write instructions in Urdu. He said the orientation and implementation strategy would be prepared in collaboration with stakeholders and monitoring inspectors.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2017.