To encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the total development of the child, the National Agency for Foods and Drugs administration and Control NAFDAC, has banned advertisement of breast milk substitues nationwide.
The agency made the announcement while on a courtesy visit to Happenings Magazine office in Lagos on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Ufondu Amalachukwu from the NAFDAC Food Safety Unit, said the ban is simply an implementation of the World Health Assembly (1981) resolution on Breast Milk Substitutes, which was adopted by Nigeria in 1986.
She emphasized that it is a punishable crime for media organisations, Health Centres, Health workers, care givers etc, to advertise breastmilk supplements and offenders would be punished through measures ranging from closure of business premises among others for serial offenders.
Amalachukwu, who was accompanied by Funke Ojetayo and Oyenuga Aminat, added that the agency is embarking on intense campaign across the media, Primary Health Centers, Private and Public hospitals, to create awareness and enforce compliance.
According to the World Health Assembly, globally, over a million children die annually due to lack of breastfeeding, while only 17% of Nigerian babies benefit from exclusive feeding.
The agency further encouraged nursing mothers to carry out exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the child’s life, followed with complementary feeding and continuous breastfeeding till 36 months, to enable complete growth of the child.