DHAKA, April, 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Import of full cream powdered milk declined by 20 percent over the last 14 years in Bangladesh, mainly due to the success of breast-feeding campaign in the country.
According to Bangladesh Observer on Saturday, the statistics ofBangladesh Breast-feeding Foundation (BBF) show that full cream powdered milk worth some 75 million US dollars, including infant formula powdered milk worth some 12.67 million dollars, was imported in 1989, while the figures in 2003 dropped to 60 million dollars and 7.6 million dollars respectively.
This trend helps save a huge amount of foreign currency for Bangladesh, as the country does not produce powdered milk.
The achievement is more than the amount of money, if the population in the two years -- 110 million in 1989 and 130 millionin 2003 -- is taken into consideration, said BBF source.
The drop of full cream powdered milk imports is mostly due to effective campaign for breast-feeding, as awareness build-up program and watchdog roles of different organizations have been trying their best to raise the consciousness of mothers as well asother concerned people, helping lower the dependency on powdered milk.
The worldwide breast-feeding campaign has been intensified, as researchers found breast milk to be the best diet for infants and children up to two years, when the base of physical and mental development including intelligence of the children takes place.
The campaigners in Bangladesh, however, said exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) of children till six months of their age is still being hampered due to the promotional campaigns by foreign powdered milk and baby food companies, which try to persuade the mothers, even paediatricians, to give their product items to the children.
Nutrition Department of the Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine in Bangladesh has found the dropout of EBF starts after three months of a baby, clearly indicating the link of baby food marketing by breast-milk substitutes (BMS) companies who campaign for such shift through their tricky messages.
The exclusive breast-feeding campaigners, however, said they have achieved tremendous success in the case of feeding colostrum to a newborn.
The rate of mothers and medical professionals who allow the newborn babies to take the colostrum has raised from almost nil in 1989 to 96 percent nowadays, as they know about the benefits of colostrum. Enditem