The Ministry of Public Health is working in collaboration with the World Health Organization to apply the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in all hospitals and primary health care centers in the State of Qatar. The initiative was launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 and was implemented in many countries—its impact has been steady and measurable.
This initiative comes as part of efforts aimed at implementing practices that protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six months from the birth of the child, and continue breastfeeding for two years with the introduction of homemade complementary food, in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)s of reducing the mortality rate of infants and children under the age of five.
Sheikha Dr. Al-Anoud Bint Mohamed Al-Thani, Manager of Health Promotion and Non-Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Public Health assured that the Ministry is analyzing the current situation in hospitals and primary health care centers, and preparing a training manual in cooperation with an international consultant who will train health care providers in Qatar to implement the initiative effectively.
She explained that the application of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is one of the goals of the National Plan for Nutrition and Physical Activity in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, has organized a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative training workshop with the participation of 40 health care providers from the Ministry and the Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation and private hospitals in the State of Qatar.
The workshop, which will last from Tuesday 1st November until next Monday, will review how to implement the initiative in health facilities and prepare them for the world title of “Healthy Kid-Friendly Clinic”, how to expand the application of the initiative in all Qatar’s institutions and support working mothers to continue breastfeeding her child for two years, in addition to how to deal with special cases faced by breastfeeding women. The workshop also reviews recent scientific evidence on necessary steps to promote and support breastfeeding, foreseeable economic programs, as well as the importance of protecting breastfeeding from the promotions of milk substitutes, and how to apply the International Code to limit marketing of breast milk substitutes.
The workshop will review the current status of the application of the initiative in the region and discuss the challenges of breastfeeding. The workshop aims to equip trainers with the skills to become a “certified trainer” and assist with the application of the Global Initiative for baby-friendly hospitals.