MoHAP honours 49 Baby Friendly Health facilities

  • Monday 21, October 2019 09:05 PM
  • MoHAP honours 49 Baby Friendly Health facilities
Sharjah24 – WAM: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has honoured 49 health facilities, which have been accredited as baby-friendly as part of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) and UNICEF's "Baby-Friendly Health Facility Initiative".
The event was held in the presence of Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, Under-Secretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres and Clinics; Dr. Aisha Suhail, Director of the Primary Health Care Department; Dr. Esmat Al Qassim, Head of Maternal and Child Health Section, and a number of the ministry departments concerned.

MoHAP, in conjunction with WHO and UNICEF, is the official body for nominating and accrediting the "Baby-Friendly Health Care Facility" at the national level.

The accreditation is conducted through the "National Assessors Team" and based on the external assessment tool and updated scientific sources adopted by WHO, UNICEF and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, WHO Code.

MoHAP’s efforts in this regard have led to a considerable number of health facilities being accredited as baby-friendly. This includes 18 government hospitals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates, three hospitals in the private sector, 28 primary health care centres affiliated to MoHAP in Sharjah and Dubai, and the Dubai Health Authority.

Al-Rand said, "The baby-friendly health facility is a global initiative adopted by WHO and UNICEF. It protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding mothers. Accordingly, MoHAP has adopted this initiative as part of the National Breastfeeding Programme and the National Maternal and Child Health Plan. This initiative is carried out in all health facilities that have been providing MCH services across the UAE for more than 20 years, with the Kuwait Hospital Dubai and the Mafraq Hospital being among the first to be nominated as baby-friendly hospitals in the year 1997."

Dr. Esmat Al Qassim said, "The initiative focuses on the WHO/UNICEF's 'Ten steps to successful breastfeeding', as breastfeeding is the natural and normal way to provide optimal nutritional, immunological, and emotional nurturing for the growth and development of infants. Also, the initiative helps mothers continue breastfeeding during the first six months of the life of their infants, with the proper and timely introduction of complementary food, while continuing breastfeeding for two years or more."