ICDC returns to Myanmar

From 3 -7 September 2018, a team from ICDC comprising our Legal Advisor, Yeong Joo Kean, Programme Manager, Constance Ching and rookie Legal Officer, Jane Tang, were in Myanmar. They were on a UNICEF mission to train government officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their responsibilities under the Myanmar Law which gives effect to the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  This was ICDC’s trip to Myanmar in 4 years.

Prior to the training course, the team, accompanied by UNICEF officials, Dr Kyaw Win Sein and Dr  Myo Min Lwn, paid a courtesy call on Dr. Htin Lin, Deputy Director General, FDA. They discussed the setting up of a sustainable monitoring mechanism to provide a feasible and effective way for the FDA to take follow-up/enforcement actions on errant companies.

ICDC team, accompanied by UNICEF officials, met with enforcers at the Myanmar Food and Drug Administration

FDA officials from different parts of the country attended the three-day training that ensued.  Many violations of the Myanmar Law in particular concerning labelling and promotion in the social media were flagged up and there were long discussions on how to combat the various mischiefs. The officials spent long hours pre and post training drawing up standard operation procedures for pre and post market surveillances and debating the pros and cons of different approaches for monitoring and enforcement.

The earlier trips ICDC made to Myanmar were for the training of officials of the National Nutrition Centre and civil society who are engaged with public health. It is the first time that UNICEF is supporting training of FDA officials who are the regulators of the food business in Myanmar.   Under a new leadership at the FDA, ICDC is hopeful that the skills and knowledge the officials picked up at the training will be put to good use and the Myanmar Law given effect.  The training tools provided by ICDC were then used for multiplier training of food inspectors who are empowered by the National Food Law to carry out investigations.

Dr Kyin Zaw – from Myanmar report cover

Dr Kyaw- from Myanmar report cover

The Deputy DG is not pleased with this product

Joo Kean- where are the bottle necks from cover of Myanmar report

Constance shows various ways products are idealised through labelling

Full house and in rapt attention