Aggressive marketing of infant formulas affecting exclusive breastfeeding —NAFDAC

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Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has said that aggressive marketing tactics deployed by manufacturers of breast milk substitute hinder the adoption of exclusive breastfeeding amongst mothers in Nigeria.

This, the agency said, was responsible for stunted growth in children across the country.

The Kaduna State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr. Dadi Mullah Natim, stated this at a sensitisation workshop organised by the agency in the state capital recently.

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Natim noted that the essence of the workshop designed for neonatal doctors, was to intensified awareness on the international code for marketing of breast milk substitute and the national regulations.

He also said the agency intended to improve the knowledge, practice and attitude of Nigerians towards exclusive breastfeeding.

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“We all know that there is no food like breast milk and it is significant to the infant,” the NAFDAC official stressed.

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In her presentation at the workshop, Sarah Kwasu of Alive and Thrive, a non-governmental organisation, said deaths among infants were largely as result of poor nutrition.

Kwasu maintained that to avoid deaths among infants, there was the need to strengthen health and community systems and fully integrate nutrition into all aspects of the primary health care systems.

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According to her, there was the need to focus more attention on the promotion of feeding practices beneficial to the survival of children.

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