Becoming Baby Friendly Dissemination Event

In May 2016, Yale University in collaboration with University of Ghana School of Public Health, with funding from Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation started the Breastfeeding Friendly Country Index project now called “Becoming Baby Friendly”.  In consultations with Ghana Health Service and other key stakeholders, there was the identification and formation of the BBF committee. The committee was made up of 12 members and these were grouped into gear teams. The member institution included WHO, USAID, UNICEF, Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospital, Korle’bu Teaching Hospital, FDA and University of Ghana School of Public Health.

The primary aims of  the project are to: a) develop an evidence-based metric that can help decision makers understand the current status of their breastfeeding programs, and b) provide them with a step-by-step criteria and examples to guide them in scaling up their breastfeeding programs. The BFCI metric includes 23 indicators and 54 corresponding benchmarks representing that cover key aspects of breastfeeding protection, promotion, and support based on the Breastfeeding Gear Model developed by the PI of the project.  A very unique aspect of BFCI project, that is fully consistent with the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative, is that it provides a toolbox to help policy makers to use the BFCI to assess their breastfeeding programs and then link the BFCI findings to sound decision making.
The goal of this phase of the project is to test the BFCI toolbox in three countries facing different realities regarding their breastfeeding programs.

On 2nd February, 2017, the project held a dissemination event in Accra to make known its findings and recommendations to major stakeholders within the health sector. These include the various Medical Councils, the Ghana Health Service, Labour organisations, Ministries and Authorities, NGOs and individuals who are advocates for breastfeeding including Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, representation from UNICEF, WHO and USAID.


While Ms. Gifty Margaret Donkoh of the Ghana Health Service gave an overview of the breastfeeding situation in Ghana, Dr. Richmond Aryeetey of the University of Ghana School of Public Health and the lead person for Ghana, gave an overview of how the project went through various stages to arrive at its findings. He also gave a brief of the findings and recommendations. Click here for a copy of the findings and recommendations.



Also in attendance at this meeting were the steering committee based at Yale School of Public Health, Prof. Rafael Perez-Escamilla, (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Amber Hromi-Fiedler.


At the end of the presentation, there was a panel discussion on the way forward on how to promote breastfeeding in Ghana.