Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance Passed
It is welcoming that Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted Protection of Breast Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance 2013.
Pakistan has an alarming high level of malnutrition, 24 percent of population is undernourished and World Bank has said that 44 percent of children under five in Pakistan are stunted due to lack of proper nutrition. Action Against Hunger (INGO), working on Nutrition in Pakistan, Reports that Dadu district is also at high risk. Pakistan is one of highest bottle feeding and lowest breast feeding country among South Asian Countries therefore we have high ratio of mortality and morbidity rats around 70 per 1000.
According to UN reports, increase in Breast feeding could save the estimated 1.3 million infants lives in a year. It is further elaborates that breast feeding within one hour after birth can reduce neonatal deaths by 22% and exclusive breast feeding for the six month after birth can reduce infant mortality by 15%.
Pakistan is also signatory the “Code of Marketing of Breast Feeding Milk Substitutes” tabled at World Health Assembly in 1981, to protect and promote breast feeding. Then Pakistan done legislation at Federal Level in 2002 and passed in same year with title “Protection of Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition Ordinance 2002. But due to strong Manufacturer lobby it has not be implemented yet.
At this stage the bill has a great importance and sane decision of time to adopt by Sindh Assembly. The bill bounds the manufacturer companies of infant productions in rules and regulations as well Medical practitioners.
Again we have a hope that with the adoption of Breast feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance bill this time Sindh government will take serious steps to implement it at gross root level.