NAFDAC, Stakeholders on Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding for Improving Health of Newborns

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have continued to stressed the importance of Nigerian mothers exclusively breastfeeding their babies for the first six months to enhance the well-being of their infants.
The agency also condemned the inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes.
During a meeting with the Association of Infant Food Manufacturers and Marketers in Nigeria (AIFMN), In Lagos,Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, shared details about the enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
The agency revealed that the WHO’s global goal for exclusive breastfeeding is 50% by 2025, but data from the demographic and health survey shows that only 28.7% of mothers in Nigeria practice exclusive breastfeeding.
She stressed the NAFDAC’s unwavering dedication to enforcing and overseeing compliance with the regulations set out in the Code.
“The legally designated Agency responsible for this duty is identified in Amendment Decree No. 22 of 1999 regarding the marketing of breast-milk substitutes.
“Exclusive breastfeeding, which means feeding an infant only breast milk for the first 6 months without any additional food or water, has the greatest potential effect on reducing child mortality compared to any other preventive measure.
“Included in optimal breastfeeding practices is initiating breastfeeding within an hour of birth and continuing to breastfeed for two years or longer.
The director of NAFDAC emphasized that exclusive breastfeeding is crucial for giving children a healthy start in life.
“It offers vital nutrition that is essential for a child’s growth and development, as nature intended.
Prof Adeyeye, represented by Mrs. Eva Edwards, Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN), pointed out that the inappropriate promotion of breast-milk substitutes hinders progress in boosting breastfeeding rates and duration.
She stated that working closely with the Association of Infant Food Manufacturers and Marketers in Nigeria (AIFMN) is intended to facilitate productive discussions regarding the enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code) and the National Regulations on the Marketing of Infant and Young Children Food and other Designated Products (Registration, Sales etc.)
She detailed that the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, coupled with subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions, are designed to enhance the supply of safe and sufficient nutrition for babies.
“This is achieved through safeguarding and encouraging breastfeeding, as well as ensuring the appropriate use of breast-milk substitutes, with accurate information provided and suitable marketing and distribution practices in place when needed.”

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