Territory supports National Breastfeeding Week
The Ministry of Health in Samoa has issued a public notice that recalls two types of powdered milk from the Karicare family, citing the products are “unfit for human consumption”. A local DoH official told Samoa News products such as these are not generally found for sale in the territory — and said, they received no notification of the ‘recall’. [internet image]

Ministry of Health in Samoa has issued a public notice that recalls two types of powdered milk from the Karicare family, citing the products are “unfit for human consumption”.
According to Talamua.com, the recall was announced yesterday (Friday, August 9 Apia time) and signed by the Director General/CEO of Health Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe.
The notice includes all Karicare Stage 1 New Baby Infant Formula (from birth) and all Karicare Gold + Stage 2 Follow up Formula (from 6 months).
Talamua reports that the products “are unfit for human consumption and are to be recalled”. In addition, “local suppliers, all supermarkets and retail outlets must remove the said products and deliver (them) to the Ministry of Health.”
Samoa News contacted the local Department of Health's Environmental Services Division Head Papalii Marion Fitisemanu yesterday and he said his office is yet to receive an alert or more information about the recall. He noted that products sold in Samoa are generally not the same brand as those found in the territory.
The only formula milk brand covered under the local WIC program is Similac.
It is unclear whether or not Karicare products are sold locally but this serves as an advisory for local consumers.
Meanwhile, the annual WIC National Breastfeeding Week concluded this past Wednesday. The event was spearheaded by the DHSS Women, Infant, and Children's (WIC) Program, in collaboration with the Department of Health, the Department of Youth and Women's Affairs (DYWA), and the LBJ Medical Center.
Governor Lolo M. Moliga proclaimed August 1-7 as WIC National Breastfeeding Week and he called upon "the public and private health professionals to celebrate with appropriate ceremonies and activities that acknowledge efforts of breastfeeding mothers, fathers, their families, and the health and medical professionals, peer counselors, and others who provide support, encouragement, and help so mothers succeed with breastfeeding."
A special walk took place this past weekend from Fagaalu on the west and Pago Pago on the east, both heading towards the Suigaula ole Atuvasa Beach Park, where other activities including zumba and a banner display were carried out.
This year's theme was "Breastfeeding support close to mothers" and according to DHSS Assistant Director Tanya White-Atofau, who oversees the WIC Division, "the turnout was good. We had a good number of people who showed up, considering that there was another event going on at the Veterans Stadium in Tafuna that same day."
She explained the purpose of Breastfeeding Week is to highlight peer counseling and to promote and support the practice of breastfeeding for local mothers. Outreach including advertisements on the radio, newspaper, and tv programs were carried out to promote the event and get the message across about the importance of breastfeeding and its benefits.
In his proclamation, Governor Lolo noted that breast milk is the optimal and only food an infant needs during the first four to six months of life, and it continues to be an important source of nutrients for at least the first year. The US Department of Agriculture and cooperating state health departments promote breastfeeding through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC, as well as through other food assistance programs.
“The number of breastfeeding women served by the WIC Program is increasing through efforts of the WIC and health care community,” Lolo said.
According to statistics from the local WIC Office, as of May 2013, there were a total of 1,138 local infants enrolled in the WIC Program. Of that number, 97 infants are fully breastfed, 613 are partially breastfed, and 428 infants are strictly on formula milk. 
The WIC Program provides monthly checks to its participants to purchase items like formula, eggs, cheese, milk, peanut butter, juice, cereal, brown rice, brown bread, and other nutritious items for infants and children up to five years old, and mothers who are expecting and/or breastfeeding.


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