Starting in 2018, HP+ began assisting the Ministry of Health in Malawi to adapt and strengthen the country’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). A World Health Organization initiative, the BFHI certifies that hospitals meet standards to support breastfeeding and promote exclusive breastfeeding for six months. HP+ learned from prior implementation in the country and worked together with the ministry to adapt the approach to provide ongoing training and mentorship for healthcare providers and orient community members to continue supporting breastfeeding mothers after they leave the health facility. The approach also focused on fewer facilities at a time and making sure that at least 80 percent of all staff were trained. Over two years of implementation, facilities in all 12 districts that were trained were certified as baby friendly and accredited by the Ministry of Health. Gains have also been seen in the percentage of women who initiate breastfeeding within one hour of delivery in the newly accredited sites. This brief summarizes HP+’s approach and results as well as the efforts taken to institutionalize and scale-up the program and sustain the progress made thus far.
Health Policy Plus. 2021. Scale-Up of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in Malawi. Washington, DC: Palladium, Health Policy Plus. USAID DEC: PA-00X-VPQ
English PDF 810.4 kbOctober 2021
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