As part of the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) Cambodia, Helen Keller International/ARCH, along with Alive & Thrive and World Vision International Cambodia, was pleased to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week under the theme ‘Protecting breastfeeding: A shared responsibility’ during the month of August.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need to continue to support and invest in breastfeeding. Separation of mothers and babies, disruptions to health services including breastfeeding counseling and support has had a potentially negative impact on breastfeeding practices. Additionally, the unethical marketing and promotion of formula milk is a major barrier to improving breastfeeding rates. Cambodia has actively worked to prevent violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by enacting and enforcing Sub-Decree 133 on the Marketing of Products for Infant and Young Child Feeding. In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, SUN CSA Cambodia has launched a new online platform for reporting violations against Sub-Decree 133. This new platform complements existing monitoring and enforcement efforts. Anyone – health workers, the general public – can use this online reporting system to alert government officials to these violations. This new tool can serve as a model for other countries looking to enact strong monitoring and enforcement mechanisms for national BMS Code legislation.