Congratulations, Mossel Bay Hospital
3 February 2014
Western Cape Government Health is proud to announce that Mossel Bay Hospital was awarded the prestigious Mother and Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFI) accreditation. This international accreditation has been awarded to 6 of the 7 maternity units in the Eden District. To achieve this accreditation is no minor task. It takes team effort, patience and the willingness to improve the health of babies born at our facilities to achieve this status. The hospital had three assessments before it received the status in January 2014. Hospitals that carry this status are reassessed every three years.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, congratulated staff at the hospital on this achievement. ‘The criteria to obtain the accreditation is very high and shows that our public facilities strive to operate on world-class standards.’
The MBFI is a global campaign launched in 1992 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), and is based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Maternity facilities are assessed using globally established criteria and those that meet all the criteria, may be accredited as baby-friendly.
"It is a prestigious award, of world class standards, that will help us to continue to give quality care to mothers and babies in our subdistrict, ensuring we reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality as a whole by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding,’ said Bernadette Fasikin, the maternity ward’s Operational Manager at Mossel Bay Hospital."
In the Western Cape Province, MBFI (Child Health) is one of the eight common goals that are set as priority by the Department of Health. It is also a measure of the quality of care. The MBFI supports the right of mothers to choose how to feed and care for their babies. Healthcare professionals have the responsibility to care, encourage best practice and to ensure that parents are given appropriate, accurate and unbiased information to allow them to make fully informed choices. Mossel Bay Hospital has a total of 90 beds, of which 14 are maternity beds. Nine hundred and ninety-three babies were born in the hospital in 2013. That is an average of 82 babies per month.
The 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
- Train all healthcare staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half-hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, not even sips of water, unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming in - that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.