Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Success and sustainability of baby-friendly in Nicaragua: How did they do it?

Barton R. Burkhalter, PhD, University Research Co, 7200 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-941-8456, bburkhalter@urc-chs.com

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), the world's largest focused accreditation program, is strongly evidenced-based. For example, standards such as staff training, mother training, early initiation of breastfeeding, and community support groups all have been shown to promote proper breastfeeding, child health and survival. BFHI clearly promotes the human rights of newborns: the right to health because their mothers were able to choose to breastfeed.

However, after rapid expansion, this worldwide program has not always been sustained. Many hospitals that achieved BFHI certification in past years may no longer meet BFHI standards, but remain certified. In contrast, the Nicaragua BFHI has not only sustained since 1993, but has grown and contributed to the significant improvements in infant feeding documented in Nicaragua.

This assessment of the Nicaragua BFHI analyzes the most important causes of its growth and success. Data was obtained from reports, key informant interviews, and visitations to many Nicaragua hospitals and health centers. Factors contributing to its continuing success include: central role of Ministry, involvement of districts, municipalities, centers and posts, incorporation into medical curriculum, mother and baby focus, self-assessment, and community involvement. Many different self-assessment methods used by health facilities, and specific problems they identified and corrected were obtained in field visits, and will also be presented. This information should be of considerable interest to other countries hunting for ways to sustain their BFHI programs at affordable cost, and provide lessons to other focused accreditation programs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Accreditation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Nutritional Status: The Influence of Poverty, Equity, and Autonomy

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA