Some spaza shop owners in Khayelitsha are selling formula milk that is marked “Not for resale”. TAC reports. This milk is supposed to be given free to HIV-positive mothers to give to their babies instead of breast milk to avoid infecting the newly born. The brand name for the state’s formula milk is Melegi. It is manufactured by Aspen. In August 2011 the Ministry of Health in South Africa announced that exclusive breastfeeding will be replacing the formula feeding throughout South Africa. The reason for the change of heart: clinical trials over the last few years have shown that if women take anti-retroviral treatment they can breastfeed with very little risk of passing on the virus.
A consequence of this is that the milk is now being sold illegally because some mothers still want to use it and it is not available free anymore. The question is now: How got the free milk “not for sale” into the spaza shops where mothers have to pay for it. And the next question is whether mothers, who use the formula milk and breast-feeding are aware that mixing the two methods is more dangerous to their baby than exclusively either breast-feeding or formula feeding.