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Breast Milk Substitutes: Is Nigeria Meeting WHO’s Guidelines?

May 2, 2018

The use of breast milk substitutes (BMS) is on the rise around the world. But do baby food companies meet WHO guidelines for marketing their products?

To find out, Westat is partnering with the Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF).  Our team conducts in-country assessments of baby food companies’ compliance of the WHO guidelines on marketing BMS.

Westat has completed 5 in-country assessments: Thailand, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. Brenda Brewer, a Westat Associate Director, and the Westat team conducted the study in Lagos, Nigeria in September 2017.  Key assessment findings are:

The Nigerian government should
Monitor and restrict online point-of-sale promotions similar to their effective restrictions in “brick and mortar” retailers
Restrict the import of parallel products
Review processes to assess product labels and inserts prior to endorsing their use

Baby food companies should

  • Strengthen relationships with distributors and retailers, particularly those with online sales, to restrict point-of-sale promotions
  • Monitor whether online sites comply with their policies specific to WHO guidelines and notify retailers when they identify a breach

For more information:

Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes: Nigeria 2018 (357 KB PDF Format)

In-Country Assessments of Baby Food Companies’ Compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes: Nigeria Report (7.78 MB PDF Format)


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