| Wani Roslan |
HER Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna yesterday officiated the launch of the 10th One Asia Breastfeeding Partners Forum based on the theme of ‘Complementary Feeding for Infants and Young Children: Give Mom Access to Appropriate Food, No Child will go Hungry’ during a ceremony held at the Al-‘Afiah Hall of the Ministry of Health.
Her Royal Highness was greeted by the Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof as well as the permanent secretary and deputy permanent secretaries at the ministry.
The ceremony commenced with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and a thanksgiving prayer led by the Deputy State Mufti, Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin, followed by a welcoming remark by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil.
In her speech, Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Norlila highlighted that the forum will present an opportunity for all 21 participating countries to discuss the challenges faced by the maternal, infant and young child nutrition fields as well as finding ways to address them.
“This forum also gives opportunities for local and international health care experts to exchange their experiences, expertise and best practices pertaining to optimal complementary feeding, as well as issues such as food during emergencies, food safety, the dangers of processed food and addressing the threats posed by marketing infant formulas. These are our priority targets in combating and addressing the double burden of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases,” she said.
Her Royal Highness then presented a sabda and officiated the launch of two books.
The first book, ‘Brunei Darussalam: Journey Towards Comprehensive Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition’ depicts the history of health services for mothers and infants in the Sultanate since 1939 as well as its recent developments.
The second book, ‘National Strategy of Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Brunei Darussalam 2014-2020’ depicts the framework and national strategy for this target group and describes the journey and achievements of the Health Care Foundation since its inception.
A keynote speech on ‘Feeding the Future – Challenges and Opportunities’ was presented by the Co-Founder International Baby Food Action Network and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, Dato Anwar Fazal of Malaysia.
Her Royal Highness then viewed the exhibition set up for the forum.
Her Royal Highness then joined a group photo session with participants of the forum and also signed a commemorative sheet slip.
Some 220 local participants will attend the forum comprising doctors, nurses, midwives, academics, researchers, members of the support group ‘Mother-to-Mother’, as well as medical and nursing students.
The forum has been held every year since 2003 and participants come from Asia and Pacific island nations. This is the first time Brunei Darussalam is hosting the forum, which will run from October 27 to November 2 and is jointly organised by the Ministry of Health and the International Baby Food Action Network Asia Coordinating Office.