SUN Movement Secretariat Admonishes Legislature To Enact CMBS Code
The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement-Liberia Secretariat at the Ministry of Health has called on the 54th Legislature to enact the Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes (CMBS) laws in order to place stronger restrictions on the advertisement of breast-milk backup on the Liberian market.
Speaking during a consultative forum with representatives of the 54th Legislature at the Capitol Building, the Director of the Nutrition Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Annette Brima- Davis, stated that when enacted into law, the Public Health Law of Marketing Breast-milk Substitute will minimize the influx of breast-milk substitutes on the Liberian market and will foster breast-milk feeding across Liberia.Dr. Davis said posing restrictions on breast-milk substitutes will minimize the products and will encourage breastfeeding by mothers to subsequently help reduce stunting among children in Liberia.
Dr. Davis indicated that stunting among children in Liberia is hampering the growth of the children which, according to her, is contributing negatively to the human resource of the country.
The Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute (CMBS) was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981 as a means of protecting and promoting breastfeeding.
The code stipulates that there should be absolutely no promotion of breast-milk substitutes, bottles, and that neither health facilities nor health professionals should have a role in the promotion of breast-milk substitutes.
The code also prohibits the provision of free samples by importers and distributors to baby mothers, pregnant women as well as family members.
Dr. Davis indicated that the CMBD Code if domesticated will ensure that containers of breast-milk substitutes carry the inscription that recognizes and validates breastfeeding as the best and healthier way for healthy growth of babies.
She stressed that if enacted into law, the CMBS code will discourage the use of infant photos on the labels of breastfeeding substitutes.
According to Dr. Davis, Liberia currently stands at 55 percent when it comes to breastfeeding but believes that such percentage can increase as a result of discouraging breast milk substitute.
The Nutrition Director encouraged health workers to promote the culture of breastfeeding in Liberia by highlighting the ills associated with it and also create an awareness that outlines the benefits associated with breastfeeding.
For his part, District #2 Representative Jimmy Smith, who is also a member of the House Committee on Defense, stressed the need for the Ministry of Health along with the SUN Movement to collaborate with Government in order to facilitate nutritional programs that will enhance the physical morphology of Liberians.
He noted that Liberians are tiny in their physical outlook, attributing the ill to lack of proper nutrition.
Smith stressed the need for nutritional programs to ensure that Liberians obtain the necessary support to enhance physical growth.
The CMBS code forbids the advertisement of breast-milk substitute and other related products to the public in any place including clinics, stores and shops among others. Courtesy LINA