Karachi,   Breast milk is best for babies as it is the cheapest and most effective strategy to reduce infant mortality rate, while bottle feeding is amongst the major cause of malnutrition among babies and children who get bottle feeding have greater chances of suffering from diarrhea.

These views were expressed by Prof Dr. D.S Akram, Chairperson Health,  Education & Literacy Programme (HELP) in a press conference on  Saving Lives of Newborn by early Initiation of Breast Feeding and Exclusive Breast Feeding   on Tuesday at Karachi Press Club.

She said huge amount of foreign exchange is spent to import formula milk products annually. She said as there is no control on advertising, the mothers are highly influenced by them. She said government should imposed ban on formula milk products to save children from diseases.

She further said animal s milk can develop kidney-related diseases among babies and breastfeeding of infants is imperative for a healthy society.  She said Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province tops in breastfeeding in Pakistan and breastfeeding ratio in Punjab is the lowest due to growing urbanization.

Head of Pediatric Department of Dow University of Health Sciences, Dr Fehmina Arif said breastfed babies are less likely to develop diabetes, childhood cancer, asthma, allergies and have a better IQ.

She urged the federal government to implement Ordinance 2002 about breastfeeding to infants in letter and spirit at provincial level. She asked the government to make policies for protection of breastfeeding and train Lady Health Workers in this regard. She requested the media to come forward and play their role in convincing the policymakers to adopt this ordinance.

Dr. Sabeen Adil, Dr Fehmina Arif, Prof Dr. D.S Akram and Mrs. Nargis were also present.