Mother Baby Friendly Health Facility Initiative (MBFHI) project- Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF Ghana and the Ghana Health Service.

UNICEF has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to support three countries (Bangladesh, Ghana and Tanzania) to implement a maternal and newborn care and breastfeeding quality improvement (QI) initiative in line with the Mother and Baby Friendly Facility Initiative of National newborn strategy and Every Mother Every Newborn (EMEN) QI initiative over a period of three years (2015-2017).

RISE-Ghana is one of the local NGO implementing partners in the pilot region of Upper East Region.

The Mother and Baby Friendly Health Facility Initiative (MBFHI) outlined in the Ghana National Newborn Strategy and Action Plan, is Ghana’s model for the proposed Every Mother Every Newborn (EMEN) QI model. The MBFHI/QI model is an expansion of the Baby Friendly Facility Initiative (BFHI) beyond breastfeeding alone, to include provision of optimal care to mothers and newborns during the intrapartum (labour and delivery period) and early postnatal period (first week of life). The key components of the MBFHI model include provision of respectful, courteous and supportive facility-based care for every mother and every baby, promotion of early and exclusive breastfeeding ensuring early initiation of breastfeeding, provision of basic essential newborn care including Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) at the hospital level, and promotion of maternal and newborn care during the postnatal period. The major emphasis is on ensuring exclusive breastfeeding and proper care of newborn at household level through mother to mother and other community based support groups at the community level.

In 2015 alone, an estimated 128,000 babies were born prematurely in Ghana and an estimated 8,300 under 5 deaths in 2015 were associated to prematurity (UNICEF).

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