University Hospital Sharjah receives international accreditation as a baby-friendly hospital

Hospital recognized for efforts to promote & support breastfeeding

November 28, 2021

University Hospital Sharjah (UHS) earned an international accreditation from the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) for its successful efforts to protect, promote and support breastfeeding practices. BFHI is a joint initiative of UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched in 1991 to ensure that mothers and new-borns receive timely and appropriate care before and during their stay in a healthcare facility.

Dr. Ali Obaid Al Ali, UHS Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Trustees, said: “Breast milk contains nutrients that are essential to the growth and development of a newborn. Breastfeeding brings extensive benefits not only to the baby but to the mother as well.”

“In our facility, we strongly promote this practice and encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies when they can. We educate them on how to feed their infants properly to make them feel confident and empowered. It is an honor to be formally accredited as a baby-friendly facility by BFHI. We thank BFHI for the designation, and rest assured that we will continue to promote the significance of breastfeeding in our hospital and wider communities,” Dr. Al Ali said.

UHS has been designated as baby-friendly after passing an evaluation conducted by BFHI National Assessors Team. The process, which involved remote assessment on the first day and on-site visit on the following days, aimed to validate UHS’s successful implementation of the ‘Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,’ which was first drafted in 1989 and revised in 2018.  

During the assessment period, the team reviewed the hospital’s breastfeeding policies, protocols, and guidelines, as well as interviewed hospital staff, pregnant patients, mothers in its postnatal ward, mothers whose babies are admitted to its new-born intensive care unit, and women visiting its lactation clinic. A meticulous assessment was also done on UHS’s implementation of and compliance with the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.