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Contaminated artificial milk warning by Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign.

Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign has warned mothers about serious health risks from contaminated artificial milk.

The warning came after UAE Ministry of Health has announced that urgent measures were taken to stop the circulation of certain brands of artificial formula milk after they were found to be contaminated by bacteria that causes botulism, a deadly condition that could lead to paralysis in babies.

The warning has been sent to Bee'ah and stakeholders, the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and the Department of Food and Health at Dubai Municipality. The problem has spread across the UAE's borders, as the Saudi Commission discovered whey protein contaminated with the botulism-causing bacteria in artificial formula shipments.

Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Director of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign, issued a strong plea to all mothers to treat this as a life-and-death matter for their babies. "It is our duty to ensure the safety and well-being of our children, and situations like this are exactly what Sharjah Baby Friendly Campaign has been tirelessly advocating against," she said. "This contamination only reinforces the risks of giving babies artificial formula, and is further motivation for mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breastfeeding with supplementary foods for two years, as recommended by the World Health Organisation and Unicef," she added.

A thorough investigation is currently under way as UAE authorities attempt to ascertain the exact source of the contamination.

Following this serious national concern, the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign is distributing educational pamphlets and posters to guide non-breastfeeding mothers in the safe preparation of artificial milk, to lessen the health risks associated with feeding children formula. The distribution will cover all health facilities, nurseries and workplaces that are registered with the campaign throughout the emirate.

The Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign was initiated in March 2012 under the patronage of Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and president of the campaign. The campaign encompasses four initiatives which are Breastfeeding-Friendly Nurseries, Mother and Baby-Friendly Public Places, Mother-Friendly Workplaces and Baby-Friendly Health Facilities.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 12, 2013
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