Sharjah / Emirates Business
Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah takes pride in being the first private hospital in UAE to be certified with the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) accreditation by UNICEF and WHO. The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by WHO and UNICEF in 1991, following the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Being in line with the vision of founder & chairperson Dr Zulekha Daud, the Sharjah-based hospital advocates breastfeeding and imparts related awareness to expecting mothers.
Doctors and nurses are encouraged to undergo the Lactation Consultant Training Program and today the hospital has seven Lactation Consultants on board who provide free education and guidance to mothers round the clock.
In collaboration with Sharjah Baby Friendly City and Breastfeeding Friends Society, Zulekha Hospital takes numerous other initiatives to promote breastfeeding in UAE. To ensure continued education on this significant aspect to masses, the hospital hosts various activities within the hospital for staff, partners and their families.
Twenty hours of the staff education on breastfeeding has been given to workers who are in direct contact with mothers and babies. These include doctors, nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists, and pharmacists.
Apart from the clinical staff, all non-clinical staff including front office and back office, housekeeping, health care assistants, cashiers, maintenance, kitchen, and security staff are given regular awareness sessions on breastfeeding, to promote the cause.
Complimentary antenatal classes in gynaecology clinics are extended to mothers by dedicated breastfeeding educators who educate all expectant patients on the importance of breastfeeding as per WHO guidelines.
Co-chairperson Zanubia Shams said, “We understand how important this bonding is at an early stage and therefore encourage mothers to consult our lactation consultants free of cost even after their post-natal stay at the hospital. This supportive educational journey can continue till the time a mother is lactating.”