As of December 2018, ICDC has conducted 68 training courses for government officials and NGO workers from 148 countries. These courses advocate better infant and young child health through the protection of breastfeeding and using the Code to regulate marketing practices.
The first step toward laws that stop unethical marketing practices is to educate governments and NGO workers on the risks to infant and young child health from reduced breastfeeding rates. It is important that governments and national groups understand the undermining impact of promotion for formula, baby milk and other related products on breastfeeding.
More than 53% of the countries with government officials who participated in our advocacy and implementation training then go on to develop laws to regulate the marketing of breastmilk substitutes.
Over the years, we have helped 72 countries implement laws, regulations or policies that restrict promotion of breastmilk substitutes. Officials from Bangladesh, Mongolia, Thailand and Hong Kong which took action over 2016-2018 to implement the Code at national level were participants at ICDC’s Code training courses. Armenia, Bolivia, Kosovo, Kuwait and Viet Nam which passed strong laws over 2014 and 2015 also sent officials for training in past ICDC courses. The actions taken in these countries to give effect to the Code show that when the foundation is laid for the right people in the right places, Code training bears fruit.
Apart from Code training, ICDC also supports countries and their law review processes and provides legal advisory services to countries and our constituents.
In May 2018, ICDC published its latest State of the Code by Country chart which shows where 198 countries are at with Code implementation.