The International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1981, and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions adopted since then (the “Code”) are an important part of creating an overall environment that enables mothers to make the best possible feeding choice, based on impartial information and free of commercial influences, and to be fully supported in doing so.
Translating the Code into effective national legal, regulatory and other suitable measures, and ensuring their proper implementation requires a good understanding of the Code’s intent, content and requirements. Given the complexities of Code implementation and monitoring, and hence the need for policy makers, legislators, health practitioners, relevant UN agency staff and civil society partners staff to be adequately informed of Code matters, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Found (UNICEF) have joined hands to develop and make accessible this introductory e-course on the Code. Whatever capacity you will be involved in with respect to the Code, it is important to be familiar with the actual articles of the Code, as well as how it has been applied not only by the government, but especially by the manufacturers and distributors as well as the health workers who are subject to its provisions.
This comprehensive e-learning course and resource package has been prepared in order to reach as many people as possible in a cost-effective and sustained manner. It is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the Code, its contents, and ways in which it can be implemented and monitored. It does not, however, provide an in-depth training on development of national Code laws and regulations (e.g. legal drafting), or on establishing ongoing monitoring and enforcement mechanisms and processes. For such in-depth training, WHO, UNICEF and other partners, including the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) (through the NetCode network), have developed tools and training which can also be found on the resources tab of the Nutrition Knowledge Hub.
By the end of this course, participants will be able to strengthen understanding on:
- The importance of breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding for the health, development and survival of children.
- International recommendations for optimal feeding of infants and young children.
- What is the International Code and the role it plays in the achievement of optimal feeding of infants and young children including breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding.
- The content of the International Code and other WHA resolutions that relate to the marketing of breast-milk substitutes, feeding bottles and teats.
- Implementation of the International Code at the national level and its place among international human rights and other legal instruments.
- How compliance with the International Code and national implementation measures can be monitored and enforced.
Self-paced e-learning course.
Open access - for all.