LAHORE - Health Education Literary Programme (Help) on Tuesday organised a workshop to finalise rules and regulations of “The Punjab Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Act 2012”.
While chairing the workshop, MPA Khawaja Imran Nazir said that Punjab government is committed to ensure implementation of Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Act 2012 to protect the health of new born babies.
He also said that improving the health of mother and child is on government’s priority agenda and several innovative steps have been taken on the direction of Chief Minister of Punjab.
Additional Director General RMNCH&N Dr Tanwir Ahmed highlighted the various aspects of these rules including role of healthcare providers in ensuring implementation, protecting and promoting breastfeeding in their respective health facilities.
The law prohibits any free sampling, gifts to the health providers by the infant formula companies. It further prohibits direct contact with mothers in the health facilities. Dr Ahmed stressed that health providers have great responsibility in advocating mothers and implementing the Breastfeeding law.
Prof Dr DS Akram said breastfeeding was the foremost right of every child and needed to be protected by implementation of the Act 2012.
She apprised participants about the history of breastfeeding promotion campaign in Pakistan. She stressed that rules and regulations & constant monitoring are crucial in the implementation of this important Law. She urged representatives from department of health to expedite approval and notify these rules, thus saving on health budget being spent on infant morbidity and mortality, due to lack of optimum Breast Feeding and resulting infections and malnutrition in children. The government will also save foreign exchange by decreased imports of these infant formulas.
Representatives from provincial assembly, health departments, renowned medical institutions, development partners from international and national organizations, Pakistan Pediatric Association and media participated in the workshop to show their support for promotion and protection of breastfeeding for optimal health of young children.