By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY—The National Nutrition Council (NNC-7) in Central Visayas reminded the public, particularly organizations and individuals planning to donate food packs and other necessities to areas and population that are greatly affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), of the country’s “no milk donation” policy.
NNC-7 Regional Program Coordinator Parolita Mission said that amid the COVID-19 crisis when donors are starting to stock pile on goods and supplies that will be distributed to beneficiaries, they should be reminded of the rules under The Milk Code and its revised implementing rules and regulations.
Mission reminded donors, like local government units (LGUS) and non-government organizations (NGOs), that under The Milk Code “donations of breastmilk substitutes including infant formula, powdered milk and other milk products; feeding bottles, teats and commercial baby food are not allowed and that these should not be part of general distribution of emergency food packs”.
Mission added that Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order 2007-0017 also states that infant formula, breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles, artificial nipples, and teats shall not be items for donation.
Mission reiterated the NNC-7 message that exclusive breastfeeding is the best option for children below six months.
“It is easy, safe, healthy and practical especially in times of calamities and disasters like this,” she said, citing the WHO recommendation to breastfeed infants and young children to boost their immune systems and the many other benefits of breastmilk.