She Made a Difference
Bindi Borg, a development practitioner who is currently conducting research in infant and young child feeding, has a lot of balls in the air. While working on her research in Cambodia, Bindi, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, a trained breastfeeding counsellor and a mother of two, combined her many roles to become Code monitor extraordinaire.
By a stroke of good luck, Bindi was able to join an ICDC Code course in Jakarta in 2015 after years of correspondence on Code issues. For ICDC, training Bindi was a worthwhile investment. In October 2015, Bindi drew ICDC’s attention to the practice of a New Zealand company, Bibere, in distributing formula samples to pregnant women in the public and in health facilities. Her complaint to ICDC resulted in two articles being reported in the Phnom Penh Post and Dairy Reporter.com and this spurred UN agencies and international organisations working in Cambodia to speed up efforts to strengthen enforcement mechanisms in Cambodia.
In August 2016, Bindi discovered Danone was promoting its Dumex formula products through the distribution of free samples and huge decals promoting the Dumex brand on the elevator doors of a popular maternity clinic. (PDF). This time around, Bindi took her complaint directly to Cambodian regulators who by then were armed with operational procedures to act. The regulators inspected the health facility and in matter of days, were able to remove all violations. In a press article, published by the Phnom Penh Post, the health facility denied the violations took place while Danone, as expected, defended the practices as being allowable under the Cambodian Law. Whatever position these Code violators chose to take, Bindi’s actions caused the health facility to change its practice. Danone now realises it is being watched in Cambodia and we expect the company to be more restrained in its marketing conduct in future.
Bindi and her family have recently left Cambodia and have moved to Cameroon in Central Africa. We wish her and her family well in their new home. We look forward to more monitoring gems from her!
Once a monitor, always a monitor !!