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World Breastfeeding Week-2019: Boycott powdered milk, tinned food for infants

  • Published at 07:48 pm August 6th, 2019
World Breastfeeding Week

The seminar was jointly organized by the Health Ministry, Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, and the Institute of Public Health Nutrition.

High officials of the government have urged the people of the country not to give powdered milk or tinned food to infants.

The health minister, director general of the Directorate General of health service (DGHS), director general of the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP), and other stakeholders made the call at a seminar  in observance of World Breastfeeding Week-2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on Tuesday.

The seminar was jointly organized by the Health Ministry, Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, and the Institute of Public Health Nutrition.  

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said: “Boycott packaged food and commercially produced food for infants. We want children to eat homemade food after 6 months of only breast feeding.

“All government hospitals have a breastfeeding corner. We want to establish a breastfeeding corner at every mill, factory, and other workplace. We even have plans to establish the corners on public transport, so mothers do not feel hesitant,” he added.

DGFP Director General Quazi AKM Mohiul Islam suggested a ban on the import of powdered milk, as it can be harmful to a child’s growth.

Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation Executive Director SK Roy said : “Around Tk2,000 crore is being spent every year to import tinned food for children, and hundreds of crore more is being spent for treatment. Risks of obesity and being overweight increase if children take tinned food.” 

DGHS Director General Abul Kalam Azad said: “Powdered milk is responsible for a number of child deaths. Child death may be reduced by breastfeeding, and that will help us achieve the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs).

“Breastfeeding strengthens the child’s immune system, reduces the child death rate, and reduces the risk of breast cancer for the mother. It also helps mental growth,” he added. 

Speakers at the seminar also praised Bangladesh’s achievements in breastfeeding, as 69% of infants drink Colostrum after birth in the country, as compared to the world average of 40%.

In addition, 88% of children are breastfed in the first two years of birth in Bangladesh, while the world average is only 45%. A total 65% of infants in Bangladesh are only breastfed in the first six months after birth.

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