Press Release, Belmopan, August 15, 2012 – The Ministry of Health and the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) is pleased to announce that Western Regional Hospital is the latest hospital to have met the necessary international requirements to be certified as Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital. A certification ceremony will be scheduled celebrate this achievement.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin is especially proud of this achievement as 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 to achieve 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, 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.