The Borno Multi-Sectoral Technical Committee on the implementation of Breastmilk Subtitutes (BMS) Code has been inaugurated by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony and capacity building for members of the committee in Maiduguri on Monday, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, said the BMS code was launched with the aim of stepping up monitoring and compliance.
Adeyeye, who was represented by the Borno Coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr Jamil Audu, said the code was aimed at ensuring safe feeding and better nutrition for babies and protecting breastfeeding mothers from aggressive marketing of baby foods.
“Today, we are here to inaugurate the committee in Borno and to build the capacity of members in the great task ahead of us.
“This we are able to achieve with the support of our long standing partner, Alive and Thrive, who have shown great commitment to the implementation of the BMS Code,” Adeyeye said.
She said that objectives of the BMS monitoring, among others, included identifying the level of implementation, compliance, report such violations, activate an enforcement mechanism that would stop such violations and deter future violations.
In her speech, the Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of NAFDAC, Mrs Eva Edwards, said the BMS Code was a set of recommendations by WHO and UNICEF to members countries to adopt.
Edward said that members of the committee were selected as a professionals that would play crucial role towards improving breastfeeding in Borno.
“Our aim is to not only equip ourselves with knowledge but also to emerge as torchbearers of positive change within our communities and beyond..
“Let us be unwavering advocates for the protection of infant health, the rights of mothers, and the sanctity of breastfeeding,” Edward said.
In their respective goodwill messages as partners, Mr Bashaar Abdulbaki, the Borno Coordinator of Alive and Thrive, and Mr Ogbona Gideon, the Focal Person of Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) reiterated their commitment in supporting the BMS code.
They said the inauguration of the committee was a stepping stone towards promoting breastfeeding in the state.
The duo also urged the state government to emulate the Federal Goveenment in approving six months maternity leave to promote exclusive breastfeeding. (NAN)