Informal meeting of BFHI coordinators and focal points in industrialized countries

Date: 2-4 June 2008
Venue: Geneva, Switzerland

Breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding, is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for child survival. The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 1991 in response to the Innocenti Declaration’s call for action, considering that there were very few countries that had dedicated national level breastfeeding support activities and breastfeeding protection, promotion and support was needed at facilities providing maternity services. Although launched in 1991 activities in many industrialized countries were initially slow to start.

Considerable efforts were being made in most countries to implement the BFHI. However, coordinators of the BFHI in industrialized countries face obstacles to successful implementation which appear unique to these countries. Because of the commonality of problems and barriers and since 1997 an informal Network of BFHI Coordinators and a tradition of network meetings has been established.

This 5th meeting of the BFHI Network, organized with active collaboration between the BFHI Network, WHO and UNICEF is an important step in reiterating WHO and UNICEF's support to the joint Initiative and can be seen as direct response to WHA Resolution 59.21 (2006) on Infant and Young Child Nutrition and as one of the initiatives leading to a "WHO/UNICEF Global Consultation on Infant and Young Child Nutrition" planned for December 2008.

Related information

WHA59.21 - Infant and young child nutrition
Geneva, 22-27 May 2006