National Health Department assessment aims to give babies best start in life
The Department of Health recently awarded Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative (MBFI) status after conducting an assessment that found that the hospital fulfils the relevant MBFI criteria.
“We are delighted to be participating in this worthwhile initiative, and are gratified that Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital has been declared a ‘Mother and Baby Friendly’ facility,” says general manager, Dirk Truter.
The MBFI assesses a healthcare facility’s implementation of infant feeding policy, emphasising the importance of breastfeeding and mother-child bonding, according to set criteria outlined in a global assessment tool.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months after birth, as this is recognised as the best nutritional start for a young life.
“Many studies have indicated that feeding babies on breastmilk only, for at least the first six months of life, protects them against a host of non-communicable diseases,” explains Sr Jacqui Elschot, manager of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital’s maternity unit.
“There is evidence to suggest that conditions such as asthma, diabetes and obesity may be prevented through adequate breastfeeding, while the psychological benefits for both mothers and their babies cannot be overemphasised,” she adds.
“Our dedicated and caring multi-disciplinary team fully support the Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative. Working together with the Department of Health, we are looking to further improve on the gains we’ve made, as this initiative meaningfully contributes to life-long health and wellbeing for the babies born in our hospital,” Truter concludes.