QUETTA: A Seminar on Implementation and Monitoring of Legislation “Protection of Breastfeeding and Nutrition for Infants and Young Children 2014.”was held by Health, Education Literacy Programme (HELP), a non- profit organization, This is a part of their work related to -Saving Newborn Lives by Early Initiation of Breastfeeding and Exclusive Breastfeeding funded by the Maternal and Newborn Health Programme Research and Advocacy Fund(RAF).It was partnered by the Nutrition Unit , Deptt. of Health, Balochistan.
Chairperson HELP, Prof .Dr. Durre Samin Akram explained the importance of advocacy for Implementation of the Legislation on “Protection of Breastfeeding and Nutrition for Infants and Young Children 2014”. She stated that Neonatal Mortality Rate was 55/1000 live births as per Pakistan Demographic health Survey 2012-2013. Elaborating further she said that initiating Early Breast Feeding preferably in the 1st hour of birth and by promoting Exclusive Breast Feeding for first 6 months, we can reduce the Neonatal mortality by 22% as proven by different studies.
She further informed the audience that Pakistan has a very low rate of Exclusive Breast Feeding Practice. Only 37 out of 100 mothers exclusively breast feed for the first 6 months of an infant’s life. We are behind even Bangladesh in this category, whereas our bottle feeding rates are the highest i.e. 32%. Our Infant Mortality Rate of 74/1000 live births is second only to Afghanistan.
Dr Ali Nasir Bugti, Director Nutrition, Government of Balochistan in his presentation announced that the Breast Feeding and Infant Nutrition Legislation was unanimously adopted as law in January 2014.He elaborated on the components of the Legislation and the process involved in ensuring implementation of the Rules and Regulations.
Prof Dr D.S Akram also discussed the role of decision makers and influencers on Implementation and Monitoring of “Protection of Breastfeeding and Nutrition for Infants and Young Children 2013”. She said that the authorized Board should encourage the regular monitoring of the law and ensure that violators are penalized. She also asked influencers like academicians, general practitioners, Paediatricians, Obstetricians, Media Persons and Civil Society to play their due role towards implementation of the Rules of the Legislation.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest, Dr .Nasir Ahmed Baloch, Director General, Health Government of Balochistan expressed his views and elaborated on the steps being taken by the Government to ensure the implementation of the Rules and Relations of the Infant Nutrition Legislation which has been passed as a Law on 18th January 2014.
The seminar was attended by doctors and paediatricians, government officials, media, faculty from medical universities, and representatives of Civil Service Organizations working in various communities of Balochistan.