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BABY FRIENDLY HOSPITAL INITIATIVE

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INTRODUCTION

The Ministry of Health has set up and implemented strategies to promote breastfeeding. One of the strategies to encourage breastfeeding in Malaysia is through the implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global initiative of  both the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency  Fund (UNICEF) targeted to ensure that every child gets the best start in life through an environment that supports breastfeeding. Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 1991. As of to date, more than 20,000 hospitals around the world have been recognised as Baby-Friendly Hospitals. Malaysia has implemented this initiative since the year 1993. In 1998, Malaysia has been recognized by the World Health Organization as the third country in the world with 100% government hospitals accredited as Baby Friendly Hospitals.

In order to gain recognition as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, a hospital must perform 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding based on WHO/UNICEF’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Global Criteria. This 10 steps, established in 1989, is the criteria for the implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) have updated global criteria of 10 Steps Towards Successful  Breastfeeding whereby aspects of compliance with Code of Ethics, support to non-breastfeeding  mothers, mother-friendly care and HIV and infant feeding are taken into account in the implementation of this global criteria. Accordingly, all hospitals with validity dates expiring as Baby Friendly Hospital in 2012 will be reassessed using the old criteria starting from January until May 2012. The reevaluation using the new criteria will be conducted starting January 2013 for hospitals with validity dates expiring in 2013.

OBJECTIVE

Baby Friendly Hospital is set up to protect, promote and support breastfeeding through: –

  • Creating a supportive environment for mothers to breastfeed their children with breast milk
  • Providing a service that helps mothers to breastfeed.
  • Carrying out a policy that protects breastfeeding

FURTHER INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:

Mrs. Norsyamlina Che Abdul Rahim
norsyamlina@moh.gov.my
03-88924509