A few years ago Baby Milk Action was contacted by health campaigners in Cameroon in an organisation called Cameroon Link. They became aware of our work after becoming concerned at Nestlé promoting its formula at health clinics. We ran a campaign on this and as a result of the communication campaigners in Cameroon decided to launch a national boycott of Nestlé. Nestlé since attempted to deny there is a boycott in Cameroon or any concern about violations, provoking a response from our partners and a further campaign. See:
The boycott remains active in Cameroon and our partners promoted International Nestlé-Free Week in July this year in the national media.
Health campaigners also contacted the African coordinating office for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) in Swaziland. A national IBFAN group - CIFAS - has since been set up by health campaigners in Cameroon to campaign for implementation of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements. Some of the provisions have now been introduced in legislation. The group is also promoting and supporting breastfeeding, providing a critically important counter-message to that of industry whose promotion suggest formula feeding is the modern way of infant feeding in developed countries.
The IBFAN group marked World Breastfeeding Week earlier this month with a series of events. This had the support of UNICEF, Yaounde University and the Minister of Public Health.
Official ceremony: Urbain OLANGUENA AWONO (Minister of Public Health) making a speech, with to his right Prof. Maurice NKAM (Director of the Yaounde University Teaching Hospital), Jacques Boyer (UNICEF).
CIFAS members marched to various events to draw the attention of the surrounding population.
Information was given to mothers and their families on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and early initation (the theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2007).
Breastfeeding is the best for babies in all societies.
I send my congratulations to our partners in Cameroon for their dedicated and imaginative work. They are helping to save infant lives and improve the well-being of families.