No substitute of mother’s milk for babies: Murtaza Solangi

ISLAMABAD  -  Caretaker Federal Minister for Par­liamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi, stressing the need to create aware­ness about breastfeeding, on Mon­day said that there was no substitute of mother’s milk for ensuring the overall health of infant babies.

Winding up debate on a motion by Samina Mumtaz Zehri about the regu­lation of production and sale of baby formula milk and related products and awareness among young moth­ers, he said Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, monitored the qual­ity and standard of imported milk. He explained that formula milk was rarely produced in the country.

The minister said that Pakistan had to spend $ 30.5 million on the import of around 15000 tons of formula milk ev­ery year. Pakistan ranked fourth in milk production in the world, he added. He said the Senators discussed the impor­tant features of the formula milk and added the mother might not be able to breastfeed the baby in the specific situ­ation. He said in case of mother’s death, a baby had to be fed by formula milk so it could not be completely banned. Ear­lier moving the motion, Samina Mumtaz Zehri called for promoting minimum six-month breastfeeding to enhance the immune system of babies. She suggest­ed that formula milk should be banned and discouraged in the country. 

Some 16 companies were manu­facturing formula milk and none was unfortunately a Pakistani company. She said that formula milk compa­nies always managed doctors and paramedics with monetary benefits, to eventually suggest their products for infant babies. Dr Mehr Taj said the breast milk was totally free which had no substitute in the world. The science has not yet developed any substitute for mother milk, she added. Dr Zarqa Taimur said C-Section, instead of natu­ral birth, was promoted in the country for monetary gains. C-Section was the main reason for not properly breast-feeding the babies, she added.

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