Breastmilk alternatives increase the risk of child mortality from pneumonia by 15 percent, claimed child health experts.
They reiterated the importance of breastmilk and said some doctors are still prescribing baby food in a clear violation of law.
They said this while taking part in a discussion at the Institute of Public Health Nutrition auditorium on Tuesday. Nutrition Society of Bangladesh organised the programme.
The government adopted a breastmilk substitutes law in 2013 to check production and marketing of breastmilk substitutes, infant food and commercially manufactured food. The rules of the act were finalised in 2017.
However, some physicians, hospital employees, marketing and sales workers are flouting the law frequently, said Nutrition Society President Dr SK Roy.
"There is no alternative to breastmilk. These so-called baby food items increase the risk of child mortality from pneumonia by 15 percent," he said.
"We have sent legal notices to some doctors who are regularly prescribing breastmilk substitutes," added Dr Roy.
He said three multinational companies producing baby food have been issued a warning. Besides, two pharmacies were fined in Khulna as they put those items at the display of their shops.
The doctor said a total of eight cases are with the High Court in connection to violations of the law.
The Institute of Public Health Nutrition Director Dr Md Khalilur Rahman and the society General Secretary Khurshida Jahan also spoke at the programme.
Dr Md Khalilur Rahman said letters will be sent to the media asking not to run commercials of the breastmilk alternatives.
The Institute of Public Health will also seek the help of the media to raise mass awareness about the importance of breastmilk and to popularise the law, he added.
Apart from this, mobile courts will be conducted across the country, Dr Khalilur said.