SUNCSAL, Stakeholders Brain Storm

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.

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