Say no to commercial baby foods in Covid-19 ration support

BPNI asks health ministry to notify and ban their donations

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | April 29, 2020 | Mumbai


#health ministry   #healthcare   #epidemic   #coronavirus   #COVID-19   #MoHFW   #breastfeeding   #BPNI  


Taking note of many cases of distribution of commercial baby foods as part of Covid-19 pandemic ration support, the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) has raised an alarm and said that free distribution or donation of baby foods for children under two is harmful and prohibited.
 
“The agencies giving out formula feeds for small babies may be ignorant of the issues around breastfeeding and misinformed that newborn babies cannot digest regular milk and that their unhealthy mothers do not have milk for them and therefore the milk powder is being supplied free,” the BPNI said in a statement.
 
A WHO advisory says that in a situation when the mother is unable to breastfeed or express breast milk, re-lactation, wet-nursing, donor human milk or appropriate breast milk substitutes should be used. Appropriate precautions should be taken to avoid promotion of breast milk substitutes, feeding bottles by the health facility and healthcare providers.
 
Similarly, UNICEF also says that donation of BMS by manufacturers has been shown to lead to increased use of substitutes and a reduction in breastfeeding. For this reason there should be no donations of free or subsidized supplies of breast milk substitutes in any part of the health care system. Any required breast milk substitutes should be purchased, distributed and used according to strict criteria.
 
“I strongly condemn such actions that can undermine breastfeeding. This is playing with the life of babies of poorest families given the known dangers of powder infant formula which according to WHO is not a sterile product,” said Dr Arun Gupta, central coordinator, BPNI.
 
He said that if safe drinking water is not available it can be very risky for child. Moreover, donation of infant formula is not sustainable and can lead to diluting the milk powder which will perpetuate undernutrition.
 
BPNI has asked the health ministry (MoHFW) to immediately notify states and districts that free distribution or donations of baby foods for children under two years of age is harmful and prohibited. The organization has said the ministry must disseminate this information to the nation through its daily briefings, should establish a criterion for handing over a substitute for the baby only after assessment of the need of an individual baby is carried out (as in case where the mother is not available) and that the MoHFW must issue specific instruction to the district administration about “supply of provisions to meet the needs of infants and small children, counselling for lactating mothers” and preventing unnecessary donation, distribution and misuse of baby foods (as mandated by NDMA Plan 2019) which is critical to maintaining breast milk supply from mother to the baby.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Bank loan recovery in recent years has mirrored Hindu rate of growth

At the outset, for those who are not familiar with the nomenclature ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, it refers to the low economic growth in post-independent India till the 1990s, when several economic liberalisation measures were undertaken. Till the 1990s, the growth rate was around 4%, which accelera

“Indian Navy needs more capabilities to build ships”

As India faces increasing threats from China and Pakistan on sea, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief (FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command, has said that the Indian Navy needs to scale up its capabilities and have more budgets allocated. Speaking to members of t

Mumbai issues strict guidelines for home quarantine of all international passengers

In view of the emerging threat of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) Saturday issued strict guidelines for surveillance of all international travellers arriving in the metro and especially those from ‘at risk’ nations. Outlining SO

Omicron: Maharashtra revises travel guidelines

A day after the union health secretary wrote to it that its order on SOPs for air travellers was in divergence with guidelines issued by the MoHFW, GoI in view of the Omicron threat, the Maharashtra government on Thursday revised its guidelines for passengers arriving in the state. Issuing

Omicron: Centre asks Maharashtra to follow uniform guidelines

With the threat of Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus, looming large, the union health ministry has written to the Maharashtra government to align orders issued by the state with the ministry’s guidelines for uniform implementation. The state government in its order dated Nove

Central Railways runs over 800 Kisan Railway trips

To ensure bigger access to farm produce and provide new markets with quick transportation and subsidy at 50%, the Kisan Rail has been bringing prosperity, joy, and hope to farmers of Maharashtra. On November 28, the Central Railway ran its 800th  trip of Kisan Rail from Sangola to Muzaffarpur.

Visionary Talks: Dr. Naresh Trehan, CMD Medanta Heart Institute with Kailashnath Adhikari



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter