Marketing of breast-milk substitutes in Zambia: evaluation of compliance to the international regulatory code


P. Funduluka, S. Bosomprah, R. Chilengi, R.H. Mugode, P.A. Bwembya, B. Mudenda


Journal of Public Health | pp. 1–7 | doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdx023


We sought to assess the level of non-compliance with the International Code of Marketing breast-milk substitutes (BMS) and/or Statutory Instrument (SI) Number 48 of 2006 of the Laws of Zambia in two suburbs, Kalingalinga and Chelstone, in Zambia.


This was a cross sectional survey. Shop owners (80), health workers (8) and mothers (214) were interviewed. BMS labels and advertisements (62) were observed. The primary outcome was mean non-compliance defined as the number of article violations divided by the total ‘obtainable’ violations. The score ranges from 0 to 1 with 0 representing no violations in all the articles and one representing violations in all the articles.


A total of 62 BMS were assessed. The mean non-compliance score by manufacturers in terms of violations in labelling of BMS was 0.33 (SD = 0.28; 95% CI: 0.26, 0.40). These violations were mainly due to labels containing pictures or graphics representing an infant. 80 shops were also assessed with mean non-compliance score in respect of violations in tie-in-sales, special display, and contact with mothers at the shop estimated as 0.14 (SD = 0.14; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.18).


Non-compliance with the Code and/or the local SI is high after 10 years of domesticating the Code.

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