Launched child-Friendly Academy.
Since its launch in 2011, the Sharjah Baby Friendly (SBF) project, which is implemented and overseen by the Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), has sought to encourage and support a culture of breastfeeding in the emirate. The project succeeded in implementing four community centered initiatives (Baby-Friendly Health Facilities (Based on the global Baby-Friendly Hospitals Initiative), Mother-Friendly Workplaces, Breastfeeding-Friendly Nurseries, and Mother and Baby-Friendly Public Places) and managed to increase the exclusive breastfeeding rate in Sharjah from the then baseline of 18 percent in 2012 to approximately 60 percent by 2020, exceeding the World Health Assembly’s 2025 global target of 50 percent.
As part of the project, in 2014, Sharjah announced increasing maternity leave (3 months of full pay – up from 45 to 60 days previously) and instituting other mother-friendly benefits and served as a model for other cities and emirates on implementing policies that support mothers. Sharjah sets an example not only for its institutions and residents, but for other cities in the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf region, Arab region and globally and won UNICEF’s ‘Child-Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) Inspire award in 2019.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiatives (BFHI) is an internationally accredited program aiming to create a health care environment that supports breastfeeding as the norm. BFHI has been launched in 1991 by WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF. BFHI was adapted by UAE in 1993 and Sharjah was the first emirate to implement community initiative to support BFHI in 2011 by an Emiri Decree and became ‘world’s first baby friendly city in 2015’ by WHO and UNICEF.
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).
Launched child-Friendly Academy.
Globally won UNICEF’s ‘Child-Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) Inspire award.
Launched WHO/UNICEF’s Updated BFHI Implementation Guideline.
Sharjah Emirate Achieved the first Baby-Friendly City title.
Baby Friendly Project Implementation.
Sharjah Baby-Friendly Campaign Launched by Emiri Decree.
Exclusive Breastfeeding Rate
Baby Friendly Accredited Hospitals
Baby Friendly Accredited Health Centers
Baby & Mother Friendly Hospitals
The baby friendly health facilities accreditation is a staged process. Hospitals and primary healthcare (PHC) centers express their commitment through a ‘Registration of commitment’ to implement the 10 steps or 7 steps. Organizations will then receive a ‘Certificate of commitment’ from SCFO. The ‘Certificate of Intent’ indicates that the facility has decided to work on the implementation of the Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
The Baby-Friendly accreditation process requires an on-site survey, which is conducted after the facility indicates readiness for assessment and fully implemented 10 or 7 steps and practiced in accordance with the International and National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
Only after the facility has had an on-site assessment and demonstrated that the 10 Steps or 7 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding have been fully implemented they receive the designation ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital’ or ‘Baby Friendly Health Center’ valid for 3 years by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP).
© 2020 Sharjah Child Friendly Office | All Rights Reserved
Website Design By: Ummah Design