LAHORE:Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir on Monday said that the mother's feed was the best diet for the baby and it fulfilled all the nutritional needs, while formula milk could not be alternate of mother's feed.
He said that unfortunately, stunting rate in children in Pakistan was growing rapidly, which main reason was not to meet the nutritional needs.
Khawaja Imran Nazir said that there was full ban on promotion and publicity of formula milk in public and private hospitals and if a doctor prescribed formula milk unnecessarily, action would be taken against him.
He said, "We have to promote breast feeding in our society, it not only saves women from breast cancer but also makes children, who take mother feed, mentally and physically healthier than other children."
The Minister said the Punjab government had approved the Protection of Breast Feeding and Child Nutrition Rules, and the law would be implemented in letter and spirit.
Khawaja Imran Nazir stated this while addressing a seminar on Punjab Protection of Breast Feeding and Child Nutrition Act, in a local hotel. Seminar was organized by IRMNCH a Project of Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.
Dr. Uzma MPA, Member P & D Health Dr. Shabana Haider, Additional Director Operations IRMNCH Dr. Akhter Rashid, Additional Director Dr. Naeem Mujeed, Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed, Dr. Nasir, Representatives of Development Partners and AMS of DHQ and Teaching Hospitals participated in the seminar.
Khawaja Imran Nazir said, "In Pakistan, infant mortality rate is very high which is alarming. According to a research, malnutrition damages one country's economy by 12 to 13 percent, we will have to pay special attention to overcome it."
He said the Punjab Government had established Stabilization Centers in District level hospitals for treatment of such children, adding, these centers were functioning 24/7.
Addressing the seminar, Member P & D Health Dr. Shubana Haider said that mother's feed was the primary right of every child.
She said doctors in Gynae wards should also provide counseling to the mothers on benefits of breast feeding. She insisted that District administration should play active role in execution of this law.
On this occasion, Additional Director, Operations IRMNCH Dr. Akhtar Rashid highlighted the steps taken by IMNNCH program regarding breast feeding and child nutrition.
A briefing on mobile application developed with the support of PITB on breast feeding and child nutrition was also given. APP/AFP