Western Regional Hospital Officially Certified as Mother – Baby Friendly Hospital Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 August 2012 00:00

Hon. Pablo Marin (left), Dr. Peter Allen (3rd) and administrators of the Mother-Baby Friendly hospitalsA certification ceremony was held on the grounds of the Western Regional Hospital on Wednesday, August 29th, as the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) celebrated the latest hospital to have met the necessary international requirements to be certified as a Mother - Baby Friendly Hospital.

Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, was the special guest speaker at the event. He is especially proud of the achievement because the Western Regional Hospital is the sixth hospital within the country to have met all criteria in the promotion, protection and support to successful breastfeeding. No private hospital has yet achieved this certification. The Mother and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. Breastfed infants have a decreased risk of diarrhea, respiratory, and ear infections, and allergic skin disorders among others.

The MBFHI is an effort to ensure that all hospitals become centers for breastfeeding support. The maternity facility becomes “Baby Friendly” when it has successfully implemented 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding. The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Corozal Community Hospital and Northern Regional Hospital were all certified in 2008. Punta Gorda Community Hospital and Southern Regional Hospital were certified in the month of August and December 2010. The San Ignacio Hospital was also today certified as Mother-Baby Friendly. The Ministry of health continues in its effort to provide the best care to all Belizeans.