Sharjah baby friendly health facilities (SBFH) motivates hospitals providing maternity and newborn services to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding by WHO/UNICEF. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding provide a supportive pathway enabling women to achieve their breastfeeding intentions and guiding the training of healthcare workers in breastfeeding support.
SBFH also extended the services to Community Health Care Settings (Primary Healthcare Centers) and implemented The Seven Steps Plan for sustaining breastfeeding. This initiative has been an effective, evidence-based accreditation programs that enabled to facilitate an increase in breastfeeding continuation rates. All the primary health centers and hospitals in the emirate of Sharjah is registered with SBFH along with some of the private institutions towards their baby friendly accreditation process.
SCFO provides guidance and technical support (resources and training) throughout their journey until they are fully baby friendly accredited and continue supporting them in reaccreditation.
An article was published in Breastfeeding Medicine Journal (Vol. 10. Issue No. 9: October 26, 2015) on ‘The Sharjah Baby Friendly campaign: A community based model for breastfeeding promotion, protection and support’ (http://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2015.0095). A scientific review by Prof. Arthur I. Eidelman in his introductory article in the same journal (http://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2015.29014.eid).
The Sharjah Baby Friendly project was recognized by WHO EMRO and published our successful story in their nutritional website (emro.who.int/nutrition/success-stories).