Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Uganda is a nation in Africa better known for its erstwhile despot Idi Amin who ruled there with an iron hand brooking no opposition to his vice-like grip on the country during the decade beginning 1971. Even to day the country is under the tutelage of a "democracy" talking President who is being criticized for his dictatorial rule. Lack of enlightened administration is reflected by the relatively lax laws that permit many activities not considered desirable by normal standards. The open promotion of infant formula in the country by the dealers through many unethical means, is much against the universally accepted international norms.

"Baby milk firms, however, continue to violate the international marketing guidelines. They have, accordingly, come under strong pressure from UNICEF, WHO and health groups like the International Baby Food Action Network and World Alliance for Breast feeding Action. According to UNICEF, about 1.4 million children aged below two years die worldwide, especially in low-income countries due to low breast feeding practices and improper marketing of breast milk substitutes. Many firms in the baby food industry have used promotions to undermines breastfeeding and encourage artificial infant feeding. Free supplies are restricted by the international code on marketing of breast milk substitutes. Despite this, companies continue to promote their products by giving bottles to newborns. This interferes with lactation. A mother that stops producing milk, eventually has to purchase the company's products once she leaves the hospital. Supplies of infant formula are given to health care facilities, sometimes with donations of follow-up formula and complementary foods".

Breast feeding practices are supposed to thrive in populations often considered poor by modern economic standards as they do not have the where withal to buy infant food products in the market which cost exorbitantly. But through high pitched commercial promotion, poor mothers are being indoctrinated to believe that industry manufactured infant foods are superior to mother's milk. The sustained campaign is intended to cause disruption of milk supply to the child by the mother eventually pushing her into the infant food "trap". International community should exert pressure on the Ugandan administration, if it is not amenable to sound reasoning and scientific logic. It is a challenge to the conscience of the world as to how this country can be brought to its senses to avoid a future tragedy of unimaginable magnitude.


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