GMOA accuses some bureaucrats of blocking fresh milk promotion

By Don Asoka Wijewardena  

The Government Medical Officers ’Association (GMOA) yesterday claimed that some Health ministry officials were blocking circulars aimed at promoting liquid milk, being sent to all hospitals.

GMOA executive committee Member Dr. Navin de Soysa said that GMOA had held talks with Health Secretary Dr. Nihala Jayathilaka a few days back and reached a consensus on liquid milk promotion. The Health Ministry’s Director Nutrition with the concurrence of the Health Secretary had prepared necessary circulars to be sent to all hospitals.

He said that the circulars had instructed all hospital directors to promote liquid milk instead of milk powder. But, some officials, who had been offered various benefits by milk food companies, were deliberately blocking the issuance of the circulars, the GMOA Executive Committee members said.

Meanwhile, the GMOA will request Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena to hold an immediate inquiry into the alleged programme, launched by Southern Province Education Minister Chaminda Rasaputhra, to promote milk powder. The Southern Province Education Ministry had commenced a promotion campaign with some foreign milk powder companies, he alleged.

Dr. de Soysa said the GMOA would not hesitate to take strong trade union action over the issue in the near future.

When contacted, Southern Province Education Minister Chandima Rasaputhra, said that no major milk powder programme had been launched in the province. Children from low income groups were being given a glass of milk and he had no intention of blocking the liquid milk promotion process at all.

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