The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned breastfeeding mothers to shun substandard Breast Milk substitutes (SMB).
The Agency said SMB is only taken with a prescription from a medical doctor, adding that some of the products violate the accepted International Code of Marketing the products.
Bauchi State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Mrs Josephine Dayilim said this during a One-Day Orientation for Media Practitioners And Social Media Influencers to amplify Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) activities organised by Alive and Thrive.
Mrs Dayilim said the agency would not hesitate to prosecute anyone found culpable of selling adulterated SMB products contrary to the set standards.
Unauthorised vendors of the products risk serving a two-year jail term if found guilty by a court of law. Similarly, companies and individuals found guilty would also forfeit the offending items.
She said the implementation of the Code was designed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and prevent health caregivers from aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes by Infant Food Manufacturers in the country.
The coordinator noted that a lack of awareness of stakeholders, including the media, had also contributed to the gravity of violations currently being practised.
Mrs. Dayilim called on journalists to expose violators and create awareness of the code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitute.
Speaking, Mr Asimobi Chidi, State Focal Person Alive and Thrive FHI360 called on the public to desist from promoting breast milk substitutes as food for infants less than six months and also go for local complimentary meals after six months.
He noted that BMS deny infants the benefit of the protective supplements in mothers’ breast milk and faces the danger of eating contaminated products.