oa South African Family Practice - The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative : foundation stone in ensuring exclusive breastfeeding : letter
Globally, breastfeeding has been acknowledged as one of the most effective ways of ensuring the adequate health, development and survival of a child. In 1991, in order to ensure the right start for every infant and to extend the desired support to the postnatal mothers to execute successful breastfeeding, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) implemented the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). Irrespective of the multiple advantages of baby-friendly hospitals, none of the evaluation studies have identified completely adherent facilities to the 10 steps. To ensure successful implementation and long-term sustainability of the BFHI in different healthcare facilities, different measures have been proposed. To conclude, despite the availability of a definitive evidence of BFHI having a successful impact on different breastfeeding outcomes, only a comprehensive and multisectoral approach can enable every mother and family to give every child the best start in life.
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