Breast Milk Substitutes Code Compliance survey in Jigawa and Zamfara states, Nigeria (May, 2014)

In 1981, the World Health Assembly adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (ICMBMS) as a minimum international standard to regulate the advertising and promotion of breast milk substitutes, feeding bottles, and teats. This Code applies to marketing practices related to breast milk substitutes such as infant formula, milk products, foods, and beverages including bottle fed complementary foods when marketed for the purpose of either partially or completely replacing breast milk. Although Nigeria subsequently adopted the ICMBMS; exclusive breast feeding continues to decline owing to inappropriate marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, amongst other factors.

Thus, Save the Children International (SCI) contracted Preston Healthcare Consulting Ltd. to determine the trends for Exclusive Breastfeeding and uptake of Breast Milk Substitutes; evaluate the level of compliance with the international code in health care facilities; assess the knowledge of health care providers on the code; and analyse the manufacturer information materials distributed among health care workers and the general public as to their compliance to the international code’s requirement in two (2) SCI programme states (Jigawa and Zamfara States). The survey was a multi-site, cross sectional, descriptive and retrospective study which involved the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data from mothers and health workers at health facilities.