MONROVIA-Several lawmakers at the House of Representative have committed themselves in supporting the passage of the code of marketing of breast –milk substitute in Liberia into law.
The Breast –Milk Substitute is the rightful prescribed milk that parents can give their children following the exclusive breast feeding up to six months.
Speaking during a one day special Legislative Engagement for the domestication and passage into law the code of breast-milk substitutes in Liberia the Chairman on the House Committee on Health Joseph Somwarbi expressed gratitude and commended the organizers for inviting them as law makers to such a meeting.
“Right now when we look at the issue of street boys in the country , many of these factors, if you retrospect , you will find out that most of it is due to the early stage of the lack of nutrition”, he asserted” .
Representative Somwarbi further said the lack of exclusive breast feeding by some mothers for their babies have contributed to the poor development of their child.
“Some time when I visit my district, I can inform my people that they have the food preparing it according to the need of the children is lacking”, Representative Somwarbi noted”.
The Chairman on the House of Representative Committee on Health revealed that the issues of nutrition supplement that are being imported into the country do not meet the prescribed standards.
“We are happy for our colleagues to understand the important of this nutritional issue because we can make the law and then you can work with the relevant government agencies like the Ministry of Health to really implement what will be made”, “he noted .
Also speaking was the Chairman on the House of Representative Committee Judiciary, Cllr. Kanie Wesso who said the concern of Water Aid is vital to the people of the rural part of the country.
“Our mother have to go to the creek and get water for washing, cooking and they will use that same water to feed their children and to drink, so for us to work with WaterAid that a law is passed is a good idea “he indicated .
Cllr. Kanie Wesso further said that the Civil Societies have a critical role to play by ensuing that if the law is passed, it should be enforced stressing that they should not only blame the lawmakers for not passing the law .
“We want members of the Civil Societies to take the initiative and those institutions that will be responsible to enforce the law if it is passed, “he revealed”.
Cllr. Kanie and the other lawmakers want more public discussion on the Code of breast Milk substitutes that will also include the importers of baby milk to Liberia.
Speaking earlier, WaterAid Liberia Communication and Advocacy head, ZayZay Kolubah appreciated the lawmakers for honoring the request to attend such an assembly for not going to other national engagements.
According to Kolubah, the lawmakers who were at the engagement have demonstrated their interest in the work that WaterAid do in addressing the issue of water, sanitation, hygiene that is associated with nutrition.
“We work with SUNCSAL and that of the Ministry of Health to ensure that nutrition for children under five so this initiative started by the WASH Consortium which comprises Concern World Wide, Wight Hunger and Water Aid”, he said”.
Kolubah further urged the House of Representative committee members that included Health and Judiciary to work with their colleagues to ensure the passage of the code of marketing of breast –milk substitute in Liberia Act .
Also, the Director at the Nutrition Division at the Ministry of Health Dr. Annette Brima –Davis said they are encouraging mothers to do exclusive breast feeding to up to six months.
She further noted, if the code of marketing of breast –milk substitute in Liberia is passed by the legislature they at the Ministries that included Health , Commerce and Justice are going to create awareness and educate the public regarding.
“As we said breast milk is the best milk for babies it has all of the anti-biotypes with in it, so we are encouraging mothers to breast feed their babies “she said.
Dr. Davis said there will be a restriction on the importation of breast –milk substitute, and milk that will be imported will be compelled to meet the standards prescribed.
“We will work with you to bring the right products because we want for our babies to be healthy and strong so we need to give them the right kind of food that they need to eat, “she said” noted.
The Sun Civil Society Alliance of Liberia (SUNCSAL) Secretary General Augustine Musah, said the meeting was intended for the technicians and the lawmakers to attend a working session were the lawmakers will get clear understanding about the document.
“What we are doing is about the proceeding before a bill leaves a committee room there should be a hearing from the technician so this is what that prompted the meet today”, he stressed” .
The event was organized by the Sun Civil Society Alliance of Liberia (SUNCS AL) with support from WaterAid Liberia.