Public Consultation on the Draft Revised Baby Friendly Initiative 2017
In October 2017 WHO and UNICEF conductied an online consultation to solicit comments on revised guidance for the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative. These comments will be taken into consideration in finalizing the document prior to publication and dissemination worldwide.
Roda - Parents in Action has been involved in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative for many years. Roda is a member of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and as such is a member of the BFHI evaluation team in Croatia. Roda organises an annual breastfeeding conference for healthcare providers, has a peer-to-peer support network of breastfeeding consultants and is active in motoring and breastfeeding protection activities. Roda works closely with UNICEF Croatia and the Ministry of Health, and has members on the National Breastfeeding Committee. Most recently, Roda coordinated breastfeeding support with UNICEF Croatia during the Syrian Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Croatia during 2015-6, and continues to provide support to asylum seekers.
The BFHI in Croatia
After obtaining BFHI status in the 1980s and subsequently loosing it in the early 2000s, currently all public maternity hospitals (30 in total) are accredited BFHI sites. The process has been challenging at times but has been an important one, as the situation with regard to infant feeding in Croatian maternities has improved greatly. It is still very far from perfect, however, and it is important to have a strong framework for the BFHI in order to maintain and improve the quality of breastfeeding promotion, protection and education, especially among healthcare providers.
Below are the remarks Roda and its collabortors sent to WHO Nutrition on the draft document during the public consultation.