Chattogram bureu:The organization of the National Nutrition Service of the Public Health Nutrition Institute, the information meeting on the Mother’s Milk Substitutes Act 2013 and its Rules 2017, the benefits of mother’s milk and the harms of powdered milk was held on 21 September 2022 English Wednesday at 11 am in the conference room of the Divisional Health Director’s office at Loyal Road, Chittagong cityisChittagong Divisional Director (Health) Dr. Under the chairmanship of Md. Sakhawat Ullah and Deputy Program Manager of National Nutrition Services. Kazi Zebunnesa Begum, Additional Secretary (Global Health Division) Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was the chief guest at the meeting chaired by Nandalal Sutradhar. Deputy Secretary of Health Services Department Md. Sadekul Islam, director of Chittagong Medical College (CHMEC) Hospital Brig. General Shamim Ahsan, director of Comilla Medical College (KUMEC) Hospital Dr. Mohiuddin, Deputy Director of Chamek Hospital Dr. Dr. Aung Sui Pru Marma and World Health Organization representative. Faria Shabnam. In the meeting, the main articles on Breast Milk Substitutes Act 2013 and its Rules 2017, harmfulness of breast milk and harmfulness of powdered milk were presented in the multimedia medium. The information meeting was organized in collaboration with Chittagong Divisional Health Director Office.
Speakers in the meeting said that there is no alternative to mother’s milk for a fully healthy and strong baby after birth. After birth, mother’s breast milk is the baby’s first vaccine and food. It quickly protects the child from various infections along with boosting the immune system. Breastfeeding very soon after the birth of the child reduces the bleeding of the mother and helps the fetus to fall. As a result, the mother is saved from anemia. To keep the baby completely healthy, breast milk must be given for the first 6 months after birth. After that for two years breast feeding should be done along with home made liquid balanced and nutritious food. Then the child will be intelligent along with physical and mental development. In case of death of a mother after childbirth, the child should only try to breastfeed the other mother or registered paediatricians can give good quality powdered milk as an alternative, mentioning the reason in their prescription.
The speakers also said that the powdered milk sold in the market as a substitute for mother’s milk is very harmful to the health of children. If they are fed in the form of breast milk, children suffer from malnutrition and suffer from various serious diseases. A class of unscrupulous domestic and foreign companies run campaigns promoting powdered milk in the form of breast milk for babies in hospitals and clinics. They force a class of doctors to prescribe formula as a substitute for mothers for babies in monthly contracts. Action will be taken against them. They should boycott hospitals and doctor’s chambers or clinics. All concerned including doctors should take necessary measures to stop the promotion of powdered milk in hospitals and clinics. To keep mother and baby healthy, powdered milk should be avoided. If any company advertises their milk powder as a substitute for breast milk, they will be brought under the law through the mobile court. Everyone should be aware against powdered milk as a substitute for breast milk. In this regard, the parents should be informed by going to the neighborhood. All concerned should come forward through coordination in the implementation of Maternal Alternative Act 2013 and its rules 2017. The meeting was attended by officials working at different levels of the health department, nurses, media, education office, information office, NGO medicine administration and representatives of family planning department.