State to control breast milk substitutes
By Peter Atsiaya
Public Health Minister Beth Mugo has said the Government would introduce a law to control the sale of breast milk substitutes in the country.
Mrs Mugo said the move was one of the Government initiatives aimed at promoting breastfeeding to control child mortality rate.
"Plans are underway to enact the regulatory law of breast milk substitutes on the Kenyan market," said the Dagoretti MP.
She added that the substitutes had flooded the market and were a setback to efforts by her ministry to promote exclusive breastfeeding by mothers.
She explained that some of the products were not of the right formula, adding there was need to regulate them for the sake of the health of the child.
The minister made the remarks in a speech read on her behalf by Bondo DC Mohamud Salim during national celebrations to mark World Breastfeeding Day in Bondo Town, yesterday.
Nyanza Provincial Director of Public Health and Sanitation Jackson Kioko, Provincial Nutrition Officer Oscar Kambona and Bondo District Medical Officer of Health Julius Oliech were present.
Mugo added that 97 per cent of Kenyan mothers breastfeed their children. She noted that the worrying statistics indicated only half of them practice early initiation of breastfeeding, and only one third practice exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
She pointed out that recent data showed 13 per cent of all deaths of children under the age of five years could be prevented through breastfeeding.
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