Breast Breastfeeding breastmilk
NAFDAC has banned the sale and promotion of breastmilk substitutes in Kaduna.

NAFDAC: Sale of Breastmilk Substitutes Banned in Health Facilities

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has prohibited the promotion and sales of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) in health facilities.

Rahila Maishanu, BMS Desk Officer, NAFDAC, Kaduna Office, made this known during a one-day training of health workers on the BMS Code and its compliance in Zaria.

The training was organised by the state Primary Health Care Board in collaboration with NAFDAC and supported by a global nutrition initiative, Alive & Thrive, under its Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition programme.

The desk officer further explained that the BMS Code and National Regulation prohibit the promotion of BMS and related products, including the distribution of free or low-cost supplies in health facilities.

She noted that NAFDAC was empowered by law to implement, monitor, and enforce the provision of the International Code of Marketing BMS, under the provisions of the NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004.

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Maishanu stated that the prohibition was in line with the International Code for Marketing of BMS adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981, aimed at promoting, protecting, and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices.

She described breastfeeding as a “high impact, low technology, cost-effective” intervention for child survival and optimal cognitive development and sustainability.

Maishanu emphasised that the BMS Code served as a weapon to protect breastfeeding from the negative impact of aggressive advertising and marketing techniques by infant food manufacturers on breastfeeding practices.

The Code was developed as a global public health strategy to protect breastfeeding mothers from the aggressive marketing of baby foods and ensure safe feeding and better nutrition for babies.

However, the practice was still very low in Nigeria, with a national average for early initiation of breastfeeding at 23%, while Kaduna state was at 13%.

She stated that the national average for exclusive breastfeeding stood at 34.4% with Kaduna State slightly higher at 41%.

According to her, part of the problem lies in the aggressive marketing and promotion of BMS among mothers in communities, including health facilities.